Friday, 16 June 2017 12:50

The Best Advice

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My niece recently texted me asking for a favorite quote that she could write out for me. She loves 'lettering' and wanted to share her talents. Over the intervening days I have thought of many favorite quotes which to me, tell the 'best advice' to pass along to others. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from? The source for the best advice I ever got, was my mother when she advised me about making visits to 'a very special someone.'

Mothers impart important information to their children. I witnessed this while I was at Mass recently. I had the good fortune to sit behind a family with Mom, Dad and four young children. The dad held two of the 3 boys on his lap, whispering quietly to them during Mass. The daughter watched everyone around her, sing and pray, soaking up all that was going on around her. One of the 3 boys, stood watching his mom as she stood and listened to what was going on. As he stood, I could see how intently he looked at her to see if she would look at him and if she would 'notice' him. He imitated her every move standing tall with his hands behind his back, just like she was doing.  

Mothers teach us how to love, how to think of others, how to care for ourselves. If we are lucky, they direct us in relationships, help us to grow and mature. They have the opportunity to help us develop our God given skills. Regardless of how 'good' or capable or mature our mothers are, there is no one who knows us like our mother knows us.

When I was a child and becoming independent enough to venture out on my own for the day with friends or on my bike to school or for fun, my mother would say, "Be careful, call if you change your plans, and if you pass the church, try and stop to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. I would balk, sigh, or roll my eyes and say, "Oh, Mother.".... She'd quickly follow up with, "Just for a minute. It doesn't have to be long. He just loves your hellos and He is there waiting."   When I returned, she'd say, "And did you get a chance?" 

Along with newfound independence and confidence in my growing maturity, I see now that these visits helped me to cultivate a relationship with Jesus. I began to love stopping by for a 'visit'. I would feel extra special if the church was empty and I was the only visitor. The quiet afforded an opportunity to rest in the peace that we can only find in HIM. The experience of it, the reminders to go, and the repetition of going helped me in ways I still marvel about. In the quiet of the church, I learned, as my mother knew that I would, that there in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a place to find peace, direction of life's work, hope, forgiveness and most of all, the love that our Savior has for us.

As our children came along, those visits continued. And as the children grew in independence I found myself reiterating my mother's advice to them.  If they had trouble with friends, wanted to celebrate a victory, if they needed time alone, or to study for a test, my repeated words were, "Did you make a visit?"

I imitated my mother, and now I see she imitated another mother, Christ's own, when she directed me to make a visit. Now, I do the same. She knew, as I know now, that there in the silence of the One who hides Himself for me, there I will find the answers to life's most important questions. 

In church, there in front of the Blessed Sacrament I am still reminded of my mother, gone now for many years. There, deep in my heart I can hear her echo with Mother Mary, the same words spoken so long ago at the Wedding Feast at Cana, "Do whatever He tells you".

By Frances H. Van de Voorde