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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

Loss & Living

November is the month of remembering our loved ones who have passed on before us. We remember the love shared and celebrate their lives. It is a bittersweet. Life after a major loss, especially the death of a close loved one, is so very difficult. The sorrow after they are gone is a testament to the joy experienced while they were here with us.


I jotted down a list of some major losses that can plunge us into darkness, and challenge our ability to live in light and joy.

Here's my list:

DEATH DESPAIR DEVASTATION DISABILITY DIVORCE


I was surprised when I noticed so many begin with the letter "D" and curiously wondered why? Could it be the Devil claiming his territory? Today's Reading from the Book of Wisdom is often read at funerals. The first two verses say,

"God formed man to be imperishable; the image of His own nature He made them. But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it." ~ Wisdom 2:23-24

When we suffer major losses such as the above list, our world is forever changed. Next steps are hard to navigate, and sometimes we postpone our recovery and feel we may never be able to move forward.

 

What holds us back from healing?

 

Situations involving some of the "D" words on the list, like divorce and devastation, come with the realization that the "before" wasn't necessarily an ideal situation, so it's not that we want to return to what was. But, we still can't quite repair what is out of sorts within us. That can be stagnating, and leave us feeling hopeless. It is especially heartbreaking during the dark, cold, and lonely nights. The Devil wants us to stay stuck and give up hope.


Join me for a moment to sit with the Lord in whatever loss you have experienced. Picture yourself placing those feelings on the floor at the foot of the Cross. They spill out all around in an icky mess. Turn your gaze away from what you are surrendering, and move your eyes and heart upward to Him. Focus on Jesus.

He promises to hold us and love us through the messes that visit us -- even the ones we bring upon ourselves. We need to turn to Him and trust Him. That requires letting go of the situations we are trying to fix.


All this week, the Daily Readings feature the book of Wisdom, one of my favorite books in the Bible! It's such a great space for connecting with God's will. How can we possibly fulfill His plan without invoking Wisdom? We can't!


As I was praying over the "D" words that come with loss in this life, a new thought came to me. Are we discontented in dealing with the experiences like death, despair, devastation, disability, and divorce because we are seeking a replacement of what we had before? Might we be blocking ourselves from what could be in the future by attempting to remake a new version of what we had? When we say that we have released a past hurt, are we inviting Jesus to fill the holes and broken spaces, or are we actually trying to stuff them with pieces of what we think we need and want? It's worth some time in reflection.


Let us seek Wisdom before trying to heal our broken, hurting spaces.

"Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire; whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate." ~ Wisdom 6:12-14

We have choices in how we deal with the situations and people in our lives. Wisdom waits to assist us.


The Gospel this past Sunday featured the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Over the years, I've mostly heard reflections from the perspective of being prepared, having what we need for our journey, and sharing with others who have less. This Scripture passage says the five wise virgins brought flasks of oil and were prepared for the delayed arrival of the bridegroom. The five foolish virgins brought their lamps, but no oil to refill them.


Fr. Gerry's homily at St. Paul Parish gave us new insight, inviting us to look at the oil in this Parable not as a material item, but as the sharing of Wisdom and a personal relationship with God. We can't put those in a flask and give it to others. Those who know Wisdom and have a personal, loving relationship with the Lord have learned and lived them.

 

Every person has to do his/her own learning to live in these gifts.

 

We can't simply wish for others to be wise or give them a personal relationship with God. We can only share ourselves and live in the truth of Wisdom. In the same way, we can't simply give a flask of magic oil so that others will adopt healthy habits, hold themselves in esteem as a beloved child of God, be more charitable, see everyone with eyes and hearts of love, offer genuine respect and fair treatment to those who are different than us. No one can fake it or force it. Each of us can only choose to respond to Jesus' invitation, or ignore it and go our own way.


We aren't promised freedom from suffering loss, we are promised freedom to choose how we live through the loss.

"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them....the Lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in Him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with Him in love..." ~ Wisdom 3:1,8,9

Let us choose to focus on Wisdom. There are some beautiful descriptions in Chapter 7 to set our minds at ease. Wisdom helps us in all things and has all situations covered.


Here is my new list of some things we can seek that begin with the letter "W", so Wisdom may claim her territory over the losses in our life.

Worshipping the Lord Walking with Jesus Wise Counsel Warm and Welcoming Spirit Wellspring of Love Wholeheartedness Watching for Goodness Wonder and Awe of Creation Waiting Patiently



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Gast
18. Nov. 2023
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Beautiful! Thank you.

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Gast
15. Nov. 2023
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Excellent reflection.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
15. Nov. 2023
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Thank you!

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Gast
15. Nov. 2023
Mit 4 von 5 Sternen bewertet.

Another lovely reflection. How important it is to look beyond the present circumstances and not just try and fill the void or the hole in the soul ! God may indeed be just beckoning us to a new awareness. How could we ever know that if I am just intent on doing my own ‘fixing’.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
15. Nov. 2023
Antwort an

Thank you! I love the idea of being open to any new awareness being offered to us by God!

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walterjr
15. Nov. 2023
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"We aren't promised freedom from suffering loss, we are promised freedom to choose how we live through the loss." ...and we do not have to live through the loss alone, for through the advocate, the comforter, the consoler, the Holy Spirit is with and within us. This is the Promise and the Presence of the Christ (John 14: 25-27). Monica, thanks again for such understanding, for such a compassionate message.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
15. Nov. 2023
Antwort an

Amen, Walter Jr! Thank you. Come, Holy Spirit, Come!!!

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