What is precious?



I’m 69 years old, and I’m happy to report that I’m still learning valuable life lessons. Or maybe, I’m finally learning them.

For a very long time I lived in a world of plenty, although I didn’t appreciate it.

Not much was precious to me, and I didn’t count my blessings.

Of course, as we all know, everything has changed.

During these past few months, I’m beginning to learn the art of appreciation.

I’m learning to appreciate the last few drops of my morning coffee and all of the milk in the bottom of my cereal bowl.

I love catching a glimpse of my son when he drops something off at my front porch. And I cherish my nightly phone calls with my daughter who lives in Phoenix.

Now, I’m savoring those sweet moments as I watch the setting of the sun. It’s been fascinating to watch as it lights up every part of my upstairs bedroom with beautiful golden hues.

Lilacs are my favorite; but this year as their scent overwhelmed my backyard, I realized what a treasure they really are.

It’s amazing how life has gone on, even though we have all stopped.

My son’s friend now has a beautiful baby boy. A dear friend’s daughter is engaged, and a family member has died.

Without giving it much thought, we Catholics always gathered together with our family members and friends for baptisms, weddings and funerals; and, of course, for the celebration of the Eucharist.

These days, I am able to watch Mass being celebrated in my parish church, thanks to Facebook technology. I can hear the Gospel being proclaimed, and I can watch the miracle of the Consecration, but there is no sharing of the Body and the Blood.

Suddenly, now that things have narrowed, I am seeing the wonder of our holy sacraments.

There’s nothing quite like a family standing very close together as their infant becomes part of our Church.

I still remember being on the altar as a young bride 45 years ago, promising with a trembling heart to honor my husband all the days of my life. I was surrounded by the people that I loved the most in the world.

When my family walked into the church for my mother’s funeral, I was so comforted by the presence of so many people that I cared about.

It just helps, in good times and in bad ones, to have people near us, the people that we love.

The Catechism tells us that the sacraments “touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.”

We don’t know if we will ever go back to the old normal, or if we are forging new paths. What I have learned is that what I thought was important no longer has much value. What I accepted as easily available to me now is precious.