The last of our three children left for college this fall, so it was with great anticipation that we approached the Thanksgiving holiday when we would all be back together again. I was not one of those parents who looked forward with excitement to the time the last child would leave the nest. I started grieving at the beginning of my youngest’s senior year in high school, and it’s not over yet. I know, cut the apron strings already. Some of us are just more, well, dependant. There is just something about having all the kids home, under the same roof. You rest easier. Then there are the stories, the jokes, the skirmishes, the little kindnesses. The laughter. The heartaches.
With children, you are opened up to a whole new level of love. It is different from the love of a parent, a sibling, a friend, a lover. It’s exquisite and profound. It hurts. It is the origin of your greatest joy. It is in this love of my children that I have come to understand better the love of God for His children. On my own, I have trouble understanding how a mighty, omnipotent, all-powerful One, Who is the origin of all that exists, could love little, inconsequential me. But if I think of God knowing me, caring for me, loving me, as I do for one of my children, then I get it. That translates. Further, there is no way I could experience this depth of love without God having created the capacity in me. This is what He intends for us. He intends for us to know and understand the depth of love He has for each one of us.
How then He must rejoice when His children come home, after being away for awhile. How happy it must make Him when they stay in contact. Just checking in. Calling to say hello. Just want you to know I love you. Our kids do that by phone, by text, by e-mail. How do we stay in touch with Our Father? Prayer, the Mass, Confession, Eucharist. He longs for our visits too.