Monthly Archives: December 2020

 

Our demographics show that many folks retire to our southern states and South Carolina is not an exception.  Seniors can bring a wealth of ideas and  experience, as well as  time and efforts helping a community.   Our wonderful world has changed quite a bit this past year.  Since early  this year, the south and the entire world  has been invaded with a virus that has changed our lives and everyone in it.   Most of us know someone who has been affected by the virus, and many lives have ended.   We hope to be on the 'ending' part of this pandemic  tragedy with vaccines being available soon.

One thing retiring seniors have in common in their future: one of them may lose their life-long partner.  It is a joy to share our golden years with someone we have been together with for decades.   Suddenly being without them, the survivor may not function as he/she did at their pre-loss capacity.

But steps can be taken to ensure one's life doesn't fall apart while he or she are in the midst of it. "This, too, shall pass".

Grief is a complex situation.   When you are in the throes of it, one may find it difficult to do almost anything else.   Many people just want the pain to end but are convinced it never will.   Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult when you are hurting so much.  It's best to seek those persons who will 'walk with", not "in front of" or 'behind" you in your journey with grief.

There is a free grief program called Grief Share where the members will walk 'with you'.   We have many such groups in our local area especially at our many churches.  There are over 12,000 such programs all over the world and you can find one near you;  online your computer  at  www.griefshare.org

Add your zip code and you will find these healing programs that are mostly held in our church communities.   They are offered free to the whole community and are Biblically-based concepts  to cope with grief ; they are non-denominational.  Grief Share addresses the loss of spouses, children, family members and close friends.  All faiths  and non-faith persons are welcome.

Today, some of these programs have been interrupted by the virus, but once the virus subsides, they will be up and running again - you can find out which ones are still out there (computer streaming) by going to their website at www.griefshare.org   --  there are phone numbers and locations locally as well as uplifting healing articles - you won't feel alone.

The program normally consists of 13 sessions [one day a week for 13 weeks - usually in the afternoon].  Each session consists of a video seminar featuring  grief recovery experts.   A small support group discussion follows.  There is a workbook journal & exercises for each session.  Workbooks cost $15 - the only cost to you if you want one and you don't have to purchase it.  The workbook is helpful to see how you are progressing.

The atmosphere is friendly and supportive.   It is a 'safe environment' where confidentiality is affirmed and friendship bonds are formed.

Often,  friends and family want to help you but don't know how.  That's the reason Grief Share was formed.   The groups are led by caring people/facilitators who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives.    We understand how you feel because we've been in the same place.  We will walk with you on the path of grief toward healing and hope for the future.   Our groups in SC are part of a network of 12,000+ churches worldwide that offer Grief Share support issues.   Both men and women join us; it is not a social program but friends have been made.   Sometimes we have all male and all female support groups.  It's your choice.  If you travel while in a program, there may be other Grief Share sites that you can 'make up' what you lost - other churches times & dates are available on the website also.

Many new bonds and friendships are formed at the meeting; healing results from shared experiences and ways to cope with one's loss.   We hope to have safe meetings sometime in the coming spring.

At these meetings, you will have begun the process.  And the only way forward is to put one step in front of the other.   Grief Share helps to do that.   This newspaper and church notices/bulletins will announce when these sessions will take place.   The Grief Share website  lists the dates & times & where & phone numbers.

We look forward to meeting you; God's blessings & peace be with you.   Even if you are not ready yet for the meetings, check out the many uplifting articles in the website.   Hope to see you in the future!

Marie Coppola    December 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the past few days, the words Global Leadership has popped up - especially when it is mentioned that Joe Biden may be our next president.   So, what IS global leadership?

Global leadership is defined as leading people who are based in multiple regions of the world. They need to engage very diverse and distributed groups of stakeholders and colleagues to get things done.

 Global leaders need to lead people across 5 additional barriers – distance, cultures, time zones, communicating  through technology and navigating complex organization structures such as the matrix or network organization.

We have been involved lately with other countries because of the pandemic that originated in China.  Many people died.  Still are.  To this date, I have not seen or read that China is sorry about this tragedy and have tried unsuccessfully  to put blame on America.  Our Sitting President put a ban on travel as Chinese people were traveling all over and he helped keep those statistics down.  This is hardly global leadership.  He did most of this himself but was followed by other Americans.   Much of our history has shown that America has provided monetary assistance to many European & Asian countries; much of which was not returned.  And then expected; It became assumed that we would help.  When the President wanted other countries to assist, it did not happen.  So he stopped.  Will global leaderships do this?  They never did before.  America is divided, its citizens can't agree on many issues; add countries who are not too friendly with us - who will be in charge?

We have had good leadership from the Sitting president, who brought about many changes in our stock market, jobs, and positive reinforcements to America and our military.  He was in his first half year of presidency when the opposite political party started impeachment against him.  This continued for the next three years.   It didn't impede him; he had many positive reinforcements for America - for all.   Would global leadership have helped this?   I think not.  They are having problems with their own countries - when would our president have time & energy to stop the violence that has grown in our country from militant terrorists - someone has invited them in but not our sitting president.

America is a beautiful country.  Everyone wants to come live here.   Joe Biden wants to let all immigrants come in.  The wall that our Sitting president promised is well on its way but is now said it will be  brought down by Joe Biden.  Who will keep out visitors who have done and will do terrorist crimes? Sometimes, they are arrested and then let out or deported but sometimes they disappear in the USA and never found.  That means we will not have borders and anyone can come into our country.  It is said that 70,000 are on their way as I write this.   How can global leadership handle that?  Many foreign countries themselves expel persons, operate detention camps and then there's always Iran & Russia.  Some countries execute Christians.  Will they go along with our suggestions?  Is there a Santa Clause?  What about all the violence that went on here in the USA during these past months?  By a political party who spouted hate, insults and unbecoming language to the Sitting president.  Will global leadership teach them to not do that?

I note the remarks made in Mr. Hamilton's last article - he is also a Democrat - that during the pandemic we had a "major failure of government." That was not so - Donald Trump did everything possible.  He even wanted to stop the vicious wars, looting and killings at different cities which, by the way, were all Democrats - same as Joe Biden. Trump wanted to stop it with troops but all Democratic governors said no.  Maybe THEY should go global and learn about getting along with people.  Donald Trump had no misinformation as stated in his article.  He did his best, but with the fake media & unwilling political party who rips up his words, we can only pray for our country that God leads us into 2021.  I pray for all living in SC and in the world that peace, love & unity is found in the New Year.  God bless America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The word "Longanimity" jumped out at me one morning as we were watching an EWTN streaming mass & saying the rosary on TV.  The homily said longanimity was one of the Spirits of the Holy Spirit.

Your computer can find out things very quickly so I looked it up. The word was new to me and it translated  as “long-suffering" and longanimitas is a virtue similar to patience.  St. Thomas Aquinas’s careful distinction between these two virtues reveals some precious pearls of wisdom.  In Longanimity vs Patience, in his Summa theologiae, St. Thomas holds that longanimity and patience both deal with enduring difficulties for the sake of a good.  But patience focuses on the difficulties, whereas longanimity focuses on the good. Patience steels the soul, helping a person bear hardships serenely—like a parent calmly teaching teens over and over again. Meanwhile longanimity leads the soul towards a good for which we yearn, specifically for the spiritual growth that flows from delving more deeply into the mystery of  Christ. Thankfully, even the hardship of waiting itself can contribute to our spiritual life!   And, haven't we waited!

So longanimity is a virtue for those who wait: it entails steadfastness in hopefully awaiting a long-delayed good.

Oddly, after differentiating the virtues, St. Thomas draws them together again: the exercise of longanimity will always require patience too, he says, because “the very delay of the good we hope for is of a nature to cause sorrow.” He quotes Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Longanimity is waiting in hope, but it also requires patience to fortify the soul against the difficulty of waiting itself.

God knows the human heart and recognizes that a long delay in attaining our deepest desires is a genuine cause of sorrow, silent and unobserved though it may be. We all have unanswered prayers: some of us wait in hope for a spouse, others for children, others for entrance to religious life, others for a diagnosis or a cure for the virus, others to secure a job, others to pay a debt, others to find the right home. In the midst of uncertainty, we can pray for the virtue of longanimity to strengthen our souls and guard us against despair. Second, longanimity points us beyond ourselves to God. The greatest good we all yearn for is union with God, and Christian hope is founded on the promise that He will fulfill this desire.

The Christian life, then, is a matter of waiting for God. As the ten bridesmaids of St. Matthew’s Gospel demonstrate, the proper attitude of the Christian is one of watching and waiting in hope, lamps filled with oil (Matt. 25:1-13).   Fruit of Longanimity: Extraordinary patience under provocation or trial. Also called long suffering. It is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It includes forbearance, which adds to long suffering the implication of restraint in expressing one’s feelings or in demanding punishment or one’s due. Longanimity suggests toleration, moved by love and the desire for peace, of something painful that deserves to be rejected or opposed. (Fr. John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary)

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The 12 fruits are charity (or love), joy, peace, patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long-suffering), mildness (or gentleness), faith, modesty, continency (or self-control), and chastity. (Longanimity, modesty, and chastity are the three fruits found only in the longer version of the text.)

Longanimity originated in the early to mid-1400s, derived from the Late Latin longanimis, which means patient.  The Latin longus, means long, and animus, means soul.  With roots in Catholicism, it serves as one of the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit.  According to Catholic belief, these "fruits" are virtues that can only be performed by an individual with the help of the Holy Spirit.

 

Marie Coppola  December 2020