I believe we are inclined to help one another. I think it is built into our nature as social beings. It is how we are created, God’s design for a communal way of life of mutual care and interconnected support. It is key to our survival. We do not thrive in isolation. Our capacity to love calls us to a gracious attitude toward all whom we meet.
Our grandchildren are getting ready to go back to school, one to university, another secondary school, a second-grader, and a kindergartener. Different levels, yet they are all about learning, growing, and changing. Education is, I think, based on the promise that there is always more to learn, and founded on hope, it will enrich our appreciation for our lives and our community with others.
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Around here, we are progressing through the warmth of summertime. A few of our summer days have been hectic, but many more have been serene enjoyment. The hours of daylight are diminishing ever so slightly. We have begun harvesting the early tomatoes. Students are beginning to think about a new school year.
Years ago, when our children were in their late teens, a routine developed that my wife and I remember with great fondness. It was a simple, unplanned, casual circumstance. We found ourselves in a shared moment, part of a weekend day without the compelling school week schedule.
Pope Francis has established the fourth Sunday of July to be celebrated from now on as the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. Yesterday was the first annual such celebration, and it came at the moment when so many elderly and grandparents have experienced neglect and isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions, nursing-home policies, and fear for their safety prevented loved ones from visiting and embracing grandparents.
Many researchers have written about the importance of spending time in nature to improve our mental, physical, and spiritual health. The connection with fresh air, and living growing plants and creatures can pull us out of our daily concerns and reset our wellness in all these areas.