8/25/13, Roots and Wings

IS 66: 18-21, HEB 12: 5-7, 11-13, LK 13: 22-30

In the 2nd reading today, the letter to the Hebrews, we hear of the Lord’s discipline of those the Lord loves………When discipline is “dished out” it seems it is not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness if we permit ourselves to learn by it.

The definition of discipline is training, especially training of mind or character; the training effect of experience or even misfortune.


Everything that is sent our way, whether good or not so good, comes with the opportunity for us to learn from it……………to be trained by it.


Those of us who were given children to raise to the best of our ability realize that it’s not always easy to be consistent with training. But with some type of prayer and being open to the grace of God, they usually grow up to be productive, helpful, loving  people. We also learn that with each child discipline is “dished out” differently.  As  God disciplines each of us differently, we do the same with the children God entrusts to us as they grow. 


Some years ago a friend of mine called me and asked me to read the quote I had (and still have) hanging on the wall in my home. She liked it so much that she wanted to write her Masters thesis based on that quote. This is the quote:  There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children – one is roots, the other, wings.


We are God’s children and we are given opportunities to learn about the Divine Presence of the universe and how we can live in harmony with all of creation (roots); and we have free will (wings).

Our faith is not an “anything goes” kind of thing. It makes definite demands upon us – most notably, to be inclusive with our love.

Maybe the hierarchy of the Church could take heed of this and, after affording instruction in the roots of our Catholic faith, permit the church’s citizens to try their wings.


We’re not bad people who are trying to be good; we are good people who happen to do bad things sometimes. I was told once that God doesn’t make junk. We have a free will and when we make bad choices, we must live with the consequences and  try to learn from them. This is actually a form of discipline. We can learn from it or reject it.            Everything we do or say is an example to others, Good or bad, it’s an example. We all have a responsibility to be the best we can be because we are giving an example.  Part of being our brothers and sisters keeper?              Does that mean we won’t make mistakes? No………as long as we do the best we know how.


Hopefully this leads to more self-discipline as we grow.  As we do that we can open ourselves to God speaking to us…………..in many ways.          God speaks to us through other people, their words and actions;   through what we might call coincidences; through animals;   the stars,………………. Through all of creation.   That “little voice within us.”


We may think that seemingly “bad” things happen to some people more often than to others but, is that for us to judge?     We don’t know what opportunities others have to learn from such experiences.      We should be open to learning from such opportunities when they come our way. 


Some of you know I lost my oldest son some years ago. His earthly death was a bit unusual but he has always been VERY close by. He has been God’s instrument in teaching me many things since his untimely death.  And through that “little voice within” I’ve heard him talk to me quite often and in the past several months I hear him say to me with a smile……..It’s not anything like you think. 

By Delores Ossowski