Now will I praise those godly men, our ancestors, each in his own time. But of others there is no memory, for when they ceased, they ceased. And they are as though they had not lived, they and their children after them. Yet these also were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten. Their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants. Through God’s covenant with them their family endures, their posterity, for their sake. And for all time their progeny will endure, their glory will never be blotted out.
Dear God, I don’t normally look at the apocrypha, and I am not familiar with it at all. But I looked at the Old Testament reading for the Catholic church today, and this seems to fit with my current situation. Key words from this passage: ancestors, children, virtues, heritage, descendants, posterity, endure, glory. It’s what we all hope for, I suppose. At least a lot of us do. I certainly feel the weight of passing on things to my children and grandchildren that were passed on to me. I want there to be integrity and honesty. Humility and a strong work ethic. A willingness to sacrifice for what is right. A reputation of honor.
Sometimes it can be hard to know how to live up to these ideals myself, much less pass them on to my children. How do I ask them to be something I am not? And then when it is time to try to mold them through the responsibility you have given to me, how do I do it in mercy and love, while still not sacrificing the lesson you might have for them in the moment? If there is a fork in the road with my children or grandchildren, what lesson do you have for them in that situation, and how do I not get in your way and short circuit what you might be trying to accomplish in their life.
Father, when I am in the middle of the battle–when I am in the fog of war–help me to see you clearly. Help me to be wise enough to know how you need me to respond and when you need me to remain silent. When to act and when to not act. When to accept the things I cannot change, when I need to summon the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
In Jesus’s name I pray,