Marking Our Milestones

Graduation, Mother’s Day, wedding, Father’s Day, baby shower, birthday, confirmation, and the need for gifts and cards just keep coming. Weddings, in particular, are bigger and more expensive than ever before. Couple’s now spend thousands on each other to show their love, often with a 2 carat cushion cut engagement ring to kick things off.

Needless to say, money is spent lavishly on graduation parties as well. (This seems to be a new trend.) Parents nowadays leave no stones unturned in announcing that their kids have reached a milestone, from treating close friends and family to hiring the best photographers like Jen Pisani who could click senior pictures Kingwood.

However, to some, this might seem to be an extravagance, but in reality, it is not. After all, students have worked their best to be here. So, if you are a student who is graduating soon, do not pay heed to the words of those who are indifferent to the celebrations. Instead, continue commemorating your happiness and sharing it with your loved ones.

Having said that, it’s that time of the year again when we look at the milestones in our lives. Students and teachers are beginning to do the “happy dance” to welcome the summer respite from the classroom, or are trading one classroom for another, perhaps an outdoor one.

As we applaud others in their triumphs – whether it’s kindergarten graduation or grad school or donning the “mother of the bride/groom ensemble or welcoming a baby – we may remember those events in our own lives. It will take you back to the time when you were planning for your own special occasion, whether that be hiring a Charlottesville wedding photography company to ensure you have photographs to look back on, to choosing your graduation or christening gown for your child, they all have a special place in your heart, making it exciting, exhilarating, and perhaps a bit nostalgic.

Sometimes we can’t wait to finish something like school, making our announcements (be they via or online) to our friends and families about the occasion, so we can move on to the next great adventure or to no adventure at all. “Stop wishing your life away,” mother would say when I wanted time to move forward at a brisker pace. But hindsight will tell us that life is moving forward quite rapidly, especially when one minute we worried about diapers and preschool only to turn around and find ourselves with grandchildren here or at least on the way.

That should teach us to make better use of the time we have right now rather than wishing for tomorrow or next week or next year. While very difficult not to look to the future, we can only make an impact on “right here, right now.” Oh, we can prepare, and we surely should, for our eternal futures by impacting the lives and circumstances of those in our world, making sure we offer mercy to those we meet, helping to care for the needs of others.

By showing both spiritual and corporal mercy, we enrich our own lives as we ease the burdens of those suffering from loss or a lack. We very much need to remember that people suffer from hunger in the summer as well as the winter and make an effort to find a local food pantry or a place like Cosgrove’s Kitchen in East St. Louis or the Kitchen Table in Cairo. At opposite ends of the diocese, they meet people where they are and try to lighten their burdens with a good meal and a kind word.

People are struggling in many places in this diocese as well as other places in our world. If we can recognize need and try to intervene in a very simple way, we must. It is part of our baptismal call to reach out to others. Many people in our parishes and communities need no encouragement. They already do more than their part. What we might do is look at our young people and see their potential to stand beside those whose kindness and concern are legendary. As we know how quickly time has passed by celebrating our family milestones, we also must look to a “succession plan” for those to take over the “good works” when age or infirmity makes it difficult for some to continue their service.

Part of our outreach should include making sure someone will be able to reach out when we no longer can.