The Word Among Us

February 2022 Issue

Making Decisions with the Lord

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By: Jeff Smith

Making Decisions with the Lord: Dear Brothers and Sisters, by Jeff Smith

Every day we receive letters from people like you who use The Word Among Us in their daily prayer. Just today, I received a letter from an eighty-seven-year-old woman, whom I’ll call Ellen, who wanted to share how the Holy Spirit had guided her over the past thirty years.

The Shining Light Is Love. Ellen told me how, a few years after her husband died at only fifty-six years old, she felt God asking her to move back home to care for her elderly parents. But they lived a thousand miles away, and that would mean leaving her home and six adult children behind. She struggled at the thought of moving so far away, but as she prayed, she was led to a passage in the Book of Sirach: “Be steadfast in honoring your father. . . . Kindness to a father will not be forgotten; . . . it will melt away your sins” (3:12, 14, 15). So Ellen discussed it with her children, all of whom supported her decision.

During the ten years that she spent with her parents, Ellen learned much about aging and about finding God’s comfort in the midst of loss. She also was able to serve in the parish where she had grown up. And she built many friendships, including one with Michael, a widower who had become close to her. But once her parents passed away, Ellen decided to move back home to be with her children and grandchildren.

I’ll let Ellen finish her story:

When I came back home, I was struggling with my feelings for Michael, and during my morning walks, the Holy Spirit showed me that I should pursue this feeling. . . . Michael and I both saw that God had brought us together. Neither of us had been looking for someone. We married and had ten blessed years together before God called him home. Now at eighty-seven, I am living with my daughter. Through all these years, the shining light is love! God is love! I am reminded of this on a daily basis, and I am grateful.

Journey with Fr. Mike Schmitz. This month, we hear from Fr. Mike Schmitz, college chaplain at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Fr. Mike tells us the same thing that Ellen learned: that the Holy Spirit wants to help guide us as we face decisions, large and small. In the first article, we see how even little decisions can help make us heroic disciples. In the second article, Fr. Mike urges us to lean on the Lord even when he seems silent. And in the third article, we learn how God blesses us for “just showing up,” for being where he wants us. I encourage you to read these articles carefully. And may the Holy Spirit lead you in the hundreds of decisions you make!

Jeff Smith, President
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