August 23rd . At a Day of Reflection for widowed people some white widows were shocked when they heard from some of the black widows how they were treated after the death of their husbands. In some families and groups they were rejected. Some took away their children, some exploited them financially and even sexually. Some of these widows expressed how they almost felt as if they had lost their identity.
Ruth after being widowed said to her mother-in-law, entreat me not to leave your or to return from following you, for where you go I will go, your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:1-22.
Pope Francis: Most families have great respect for the elderly, surrounding them with affection and considering them a blessing. On the other hand the care that they require often puts a strain on their loved ones. The elderly who are vulnerable and dependent are at times unfairly exploited simply for economic advantage. AL48
August 24th. Gwen did not get on too well with her daughter-in-law. She realised that maybe she was seen as being too critical and maybe she was. But as she shared with her friend, “Why is it the mother-in-law who always has the bad image, and not the daughter-in-law? I do believe there is something from both sides?”
Boaz said to Ruth, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife and the Lord gave her a son. The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you without next of kin.” They named him Obed who was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 2:1-17.
Pope Francis: We cannot forget that the larger family includes fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law and all the relatives of the couple. A particularly delicate aspect of love is learning not to view these relatives as somehow competitors, threats or intruders. The conjugal union demands respect for their traditions and customs. AL198
August 26th. Right from the time her baby was born Beauty would sit by her cot and look in wonder and awe at this little gift she had been given. The months before had been very traumatic. After the rape, and realising her pregnancy, at times she wanted nothing to do with it. But she had been supported and encouraged and finally she knew that she could rest well if her little Angela was at rest and she promised to guard and protect her every single day to come. And sometimes the thought would cross her mind, “If only she and her father could one day be united.”
The Lord takes delight in his people. Let the faithful exult in glory and rejoice as they take their rest. Let the praise of God be in their mouths, this is an honour for all his faithful. From Ps 149.
Pope Francis: The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. Each child has a place in God’s heart from all eternity; once he or she is conceived the Creator’s eternal dream comes true. AL 168
August 27th. Greg laughed when he shared with the couples in their last marriage sharing session. “If God was standing at the foot of your bed, would he be smiling or frowning?” That was a question that Marriage Encounter asked us years ago. What could that possibly include? I would think in many different situations the answer could be quite different.”
O Lord you search me and you know me. You yourself know my resting and my rising. You discern my thoughts from afar. You mark when I walk or life down; you know all my ways through and through. From Ps 139.
Pope Francis: The 2nd Vatican Council teaches that conjugal love embraces the good of the whole person. A love lacking either pleasure or passion is insufficient to symbolise the union of the human heart with God. All the mystics have affirmed that supernatural love and heavenly love find the symbols which they seek in marital love, rather than in friendship, filial devotion or devotion to a cause. AL 142.