For the past week, I have been listening to a biography of St. Therese of Lisieux’s parents – Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. They were extraordinary parents who served God faithfully through the joys and sorrows of their lives. Even though from their youth they wanted to be consecrated to God and not marry, circumstances changed and they received the honor of being the first married couple to be canonized together. Last night I heard about the end of Louis’ life. After his wife Zelie died, he raised 5 daughters until each of them decided to join the convent. As he aged, Louis started having delusions and memory loss. His final surrender to God was to give Him his mind. When things got too bad, the family was saddened to have Louis admitted into an asylum, which was the option there was at that time. I felt God had given me this story in particular to speak to my heart. I carry a tremendous amount of guilt that I was unable to care for my dad at home until the end of his life. After listening to the life of this incredibly holy, saintly family, I realized that if they couldn’t care for their father who they loved tremendously in his condition, what makes me think that I could. After all, I am nowhere near being a saint. I was just doing the best I could. This realization gave me some comfort to know that I do love my father, I did do the best I could, that it was incredibly difficult, and that I need to surrender the guilt.
I Found God today in a saintly family who reminded me that I am not.