My grandpa was a Secular Franciscan, a dedicated catholic who attended daily mass.I spent most of my early childhood with him. My uncle remembers, I was very naughty and I had a double name "Bull",I feel sorry that I gave grandpa a hard time. May he rest in peace! He used to take me to the church,I did not know what is happening in the church but grandpa asked me to be silent and attentive, I did. I gradually learned what is the Holy Eucharist, what is the Church and who are the saints. I remember,he had a picture of St. Francis stepping on globe and stretching his hands to embrace Jesus, hanging in the common prayer room. I asked him one day, who is in the picture? Grandpa depicted who Francis was. I pictured Francis travelling on horse and on seeing a leper he lowering himself, hugging and kissing him. I saw Francis preaching to the birds, their eyes were so big and they were motionless. I saw Francis begging food and caring the lepers. All the stories admired me, I fell in love with his life. When I look back, I feel my grandpa must be the reason behind my vocation to the Franciscan life. He implanted a seed in my childhood and I am sure that he must be happy I am a Franciscan!
As we were celebrating epiphany, I attended Mass with the congregation. I do it sometimes to feel and celebrate Mass as one of them. A grandma was on the front seat with her grandson, he must be four years. I confess I was distracted. He was playing all the time with his toys, I noticed the toys are all soldiers, he fixed different weapons on the toys enjoying killing each soldiers. I thought that is not a fun game in the church where we preach about peace and love! When the pastor invited children from 4-10 years old to catechism, grandma did not send her grandson. I noticed she never explained to her grandson what is happening in the church or be attentive. I thought about my grandpa. The book of Deuteronomy says, “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children"(Deut. 4/9). I am not intending here to judge the grandma but I wished to remind grandparents to look at my Grandpa and how he impacted me.
I too think this is a high time, grandparents should be aware of the duty to teach grandchildren about their faith, traditions and stories and to lead them to the light. The Holy Bible also understands that grandparents play an important part in the raising of grandchildren,"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well"( 2 Timothy1/5). St. Paul praises grandparents for the great faith of Timothy. He reminds of the duty and responsibility of grandparents fostering faith in next generation.
I have seen many students love their grandparents, sometimes they speak of grandparents more than their parents. Grandparents are very important to many. They can create a great impact on the next generation more than they think. I wish that they do not forget this.
We had a time where we longed to hear stories from grandparents and sleep on their lap. We had a time where we wanted to rush to grandparents home for holidays. We had a time to be playful with them. I feel like they are gone!