March 10, 2009 - Tuesday Meditation (Have you called your Dad/Mom Lately?) Print
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Sunday, 08 March 2009 20:37
Each of us can look into our own families and in our neighborhoods to see if older women and men are being treated with dignity.  Are they being excluded because of their mental or physical frailties?  Are they physically and socially isolated? 
Pls view this  .... 

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23

Matthew 23:1-12  Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, (2 ) "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; (3) so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. (4) They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. (5) They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, (6) and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, (7) and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. (8) But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. (9) And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. (10) Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. (11) He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; (12) whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


Meditation by Pat Callone (Creighton)

Hear the word of the Lord, …Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; Cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim; redress the wronged, Hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow...--Isaiah

In this reflection I would like to address the exhortation of Isaiah: “…defend the widow.”  In my work at Creighton, I study the treatment of older persons and am part of a team of persons working on the Creighton Study of Violence Across the Lifespan.

In 2009, society’s and families’attention to the mistreatment of older persons is generally avoided--not to be talked about.  The attention to the mistreatment of older persons today is about where the attention to the mistreatment of children and youth was 25 years ago.  In 2009, there are programs that are openly discussed and planned to try to halt the mistreatment of babies, youth, teenagers, young adults. But not so many for the treatment of older persons.  Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women (2004 and 2005):

“Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, and other forms of abuse and neglect. Older women are more likely to experience domestic violence for a longer time, to be in current violent relationships, and to have health and mental health problems. Elder abuse is underreported; it is estimated that only 1 in 5 cases are reported.”

Creighton faculty are studying “financial exploitation/abuse.”  Older adults who have been financially exploited/abused are afraid to talk about it…especially if persons have experienced the exploitation in their own families. 

So what do we do?  Each of us can look into our own families and in our neighborhoods to see if older women and men are being treated with dignity.  Are they being excluded because of their mental or physical frailties?  Are they physically and socially isolated?  Are they receiving the food, healthcare, socialization, and spiritual resources they need and deserve?  Are their remaining skills and abilities being nurtured to their fullest extent so that St. Irenaeus’ quotation can be realized? “The Glory of God is man (and woman) fully alive.”

Lord, you ask us in this time of Lent to look around and see what our actions are doing to create your kingdom on earth. There are so many more older persons around us – some strong and some frail. Help us be aware of the dignity of each person – especially older persons – and make sure they are given the dignity they deserve because You are within them.

Help us be conscious that we are to defend the widow (and widower) and take actions to care for them.  Amen.
Supplementary Reading
Be a Hope-A-Holic

"Be joyful in hope." – Romans 12:12

When asked, at the end of his career, what great lessons he had learned from history, the great American historian Charles Beard answered, "I've learned four: First—whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power. Second—the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly fine. Third—the bee fertilizes the flower it robs. Fourth—only when it's dark are you able to see the stars."

Charles Beard was a hope-a-holic. So am I. I have an incurable, instinctive, impulsive tendency to surrender to hope. I know yesterday is a canceled check. Today is cash in hand to spend as I want. And tomorrow is a promissory note from God Almighty.

This hope will not disappoint. Our "hopes" may not all be fulfilled, but hope is its own immediate reward; it offers us the gift of unceasing optimism.

* * *
Think about all of the things in your life that give you a sense of hope. Next time you're feeling discouraged or disappointed, read through your hope list and you'll find renewed optimism.

* * *

Note: This excerpt was taken from the "Power for Life Daily Devotional"

PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.

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