Unexpected gifts from a difficult experience - Catholic Courier

Unexpected gifts from a difficult experience

Every year when we work on our May issue on vocations, I think about my own calling. I’m a mother, but I’m also a widow. It’s hard to call being a widow a vocation, since I didn’t choose it, and I was called to that state through a very painful experience, but yet it brought several unexpected gifts to my life:

* I have empathy for those who have lost spouses. I will never forget meeting an elderly widower at a church celebration. He seemed like he was alone, even though the room was crowded with his friends. I felt blessed to give him a glimpse of the possibility of healing. He reminded me of the courage widows and widowers must have to resume their lives as changed people.

* I have empathy for faithful singles, who sometimes struggle to find their place in the church. Their example of how to live out their faith is desperately needed in parishes and in society.

* I have empathy for single parents, who work very hard to raise children with fewer supports than those available in two-parent homes. Single parents need our support if we are serious about creating a culture that values life.

* I have a prayer for those who are married — may they revel in the love that they bring each other. It is impossible to have too many love notes, private jokes, and photographs and videos of each other.

* I have a faith that I never imagined. In the space where my husband’s love existed in my life, God’s love entered in, bringing me comfort and joy. I may not always be in the same place that I am in now, but I will be forever changed — for the better.

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