Life in General

Miscellaneous observtions on Life

We all have special memories from childhood - many of which become integrated in the past with input from others family members.  This one is mine - it is my favorite.

We were once an Italian family with three children - the oldest was my brother, and then two sisters.  I was born after the birth of Madelyn,  the younger sister - she was four years old when I was brought home from the hospital.  Her name is Maddalena or Madelyn and later "Maddy".  

My mother was busy taking care of her family's needs and she picked Maddy to watch over me.  Maddy was and still is the most reliable.

One busy morning in the kitchen. my mother asked Maddy to check on me in the crib.  Which she did.   She reported back to my mother that "the baby has the hic-cups".   My mother went over to the crib and alarmingly found that I was having some kind of seizure.   I was taken to the hospital where it was determined that I had a convulsion.   I was all right and returned home.  My mother told me when I was older that Maddy had saved my life.

Maddy did more than 'save my life' - she became my little mother.  I missed her when she went to school and she would share what she learned each day & became my teacher.   I remember when she was nine years old, she was learning about our Catholic faith and making her First Holy Communion.   She was given a small missal book that showed the life of Jesus.   She would read the small missal to me and explained what she was taught by the nuns.

When she read about Jesus' dying on the cross, I remember bursting into tears and asking her "Who will take care of us now if He died?"  She ran to tell my mother that I was crying over Jesus who had become and still is my 'Best Friend'.  I was so relieved when she told me that He was ressurrected and is still among us.

When I become older, Maddy and I played paper dolls together - sometimes cut out from colorful advertisement pictures in the Sunday paper.  She had the advantage of being older that she always got married to our favorite movie star first.  She always taught me about right from wrong and I loved her motherly ways.  She didn't raise her voice or hit me - she quietly explained the 'right' things to do.

As we got older, Maddy still found time to tell me about good from bad - how to behave at parties where boys were involved, how to evolve through natural teen changes and how to be a lady.   Although she had a boyfriend at age 16 whom she later married, she still took time to bring me along the better paths,

We still laugh at how she reprimanded me if I didn't listen to her.   If she asked me nicely to "dry the dishes", I ignored her and made believe I didn't hear her.   A few minutes later, she would say "I'll give you five minutes to come dry the dishes."   I always dashed in to do them.  Years later, I asked her what would she have done to me if I didn't come right away?   And she said, "I wondered about that, too,  Thank goodness you always showed up".

Maddy 'looked after me' throughout my own teen-age years.   When I graduated from high school, I quit my senior year job working after high school from 3 pm to 6 pm and all day Saturday - I was tired and wanted a break but not long afterward, Maddalena brought home an application from the well-known company where she worked.   She asked me to fill it out and that she would  drive me to and from the company if I was accepted.

I had good grades but wasn't looking forward to becoming a 'working' girl again.   It was an opening to a good job that fit in with many of the courses I had in high school.   Maddy was good to her promise to bring me there and home.   I remember that I loved the cafeteria they stocked every morning and lunch time.   I ate too much of the breakfasts and lunches.   One day, I encountered my sister who was getting something from the cafeteria -- she looked at my plate and pleasantly said, "Now I know why you are gaining weight"....something teenagers don't want to hear.   I cut down on the mashed potatoes and 'main dinner courses' they sold at that time and ate more sensibly.  She had such a good way to put me on good courses again and again.

Did I ever get mad at her?   In all the years we have enjoyed a close relationship - we never fought.   Never had an argument or bad mood toward each other.   She is a peacemaker who 'talks' things out - not fights things out.

Much of that could be our personalities.   I do love her like a mother or informant of  'what do I do now?'    She always guided me.  In later years, we have found that we simultaneously get the same ailments, health issues - like chipping the same tooth on the same day or having a pain in our right sides at the same time and many other minor happenings.   I told her once that I think our Mom really had twins when she had us - but I took 4 years longer in the birth canal to join my 'twin'.

I am so blessed to have her in my life.   She is the peacemaker with everyone - forgiving those that others would or could not.   She is loving and giving and is loved back by all.   She keeps in touch with our many family members even those far away and their children.  She gives us updates on our relatives who love her back.  She is my first person to call for advice.

She was blessed to marry her teen-age sweetheart.   They are married for over 6 decades and they are role models of happily married couples.  He is very much like her.

They have found themselves in each other.

 

 

 

The Pandemic caused many ways we had to change our life.  For example, do you still hug others?  Giving hugs are good for your health - and for the health of the person you are hugging.  Hugging is a comfort to hurting people and  a reaction to express that you understand & care.  Contrary to old wives' tales, past generations who believed that responding quickly to a baby crying by picking up and holding,  will “spoil” a baby. Instead, babies who are held and comforted when they need it during the first six months of life tend to be more secure and confident as toddlers and older children.

I remember from psychology class that in past years, babies who for some reason did not have  mothering in hospitals or orphanages, had caregivers instead.  These substitute 'mothers' would go in to feed them,  bathe them and change their diapers, but they would do nothing else.   Later, I read that  the caregivers had been instructed not to look at or touch the babies more than was necessary, and they never spoke to them. All their physical needs were attended to scrupulously.    The environment was kept sterile; the babies were never ill.  However, about half of the babies had died at that point, at least two more died even after being rescued and brought into a more normal environment. There was no physiological cause for the babies' deaths; they were all physically very healthy. Before each baby died, there was a period where they would stop their attempted 'wording', and just stop moving, never cry or change expression. Death would follow shortly. The babies who had "given up" before being rescued died in the same manner, even though they had been removed from the experimental conditions. The conclusion was that nurturing is actually a very vital need in humans, as well  as with  animals.

What does hugging do for humans?  Hugging reduces the risk of heart diseases.   Hugging calms and reduces stress.  Hugging is good for your relationship.   It increases bonding by releasing oxytocin from our brain and helps relaxation and feelings of intimacy & commitment.    When we hug someone, we are showing our love and joy in a special way without words.

Hugging or cuddling can relieve stress by increasing understanding and empathy and can decrease depression.   Hugging is a mood elevator (by increased serotonin and endorphins) and can boost your self-esteem.   Hugging someone in grief can be more beneficial than words.   All these factors can boost one's immunity.

Hug someone you haven't hugged in a long time - and keep hugging those you hug often.  In today's world, it might be a good idea if you ask first before you hug them.   When COVID-19-related lockdowns were taking effect, regardless of whether a person lived alone or with others, there were complaints that they did not get enough physical interaction - an arm around the shoulder, a sympathetic touch or a long snuggle.   Health care professionals have a name to this condition that is affecting so many in our lives - it is call "touch starvation". The instinct to seek out human touch is more powerful than most of us realize (*Reader's Digest).  "We are born as cuddlers and we never outgrow it"*  (Dr, James Cordova).

Marie Coppola  Revised May 2021

 

 

The Bible mentions angels frequently.   Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament.   In the New Testament, the doctrine of angels is precisely stated.  Angels are everywhere — the intermediaries between God and man.   I was taught that everyone has a guardian angel based on references to them throughout the Bible.

According to the Bible, angels are spiritual (not physical) beings; and they can take on human form or appearance.

I met one.

It was the month my father took ill;  he had been admitted into the hospital for a respiratory issue.  After some days, the family felt we could take him home, but suddenly he was placed on a ventilator.  After he was on it for a week, our consultations with his doctors proved negative and worrisome.  The doctors wanted to continue the ventilator, but our dad looked uncomfortable on and tried to take it off - he became weaker.   We wanted him taken off, too, and it was a tremendous conflict.

Driving home from the hospital one especially frustrating day, I passed by my church, which is always a great source of comfort to me.   Impulsively and driven by worry, I stopped to see if the pastor was there.   I was told he was not.  The secretary told me there was a seminarian in the church.   I went into the church and while I quietly sat there, the young seminarian came by and asked me if he could help me.   He was such a young priest-in-training, but his kind eyes and compassion affected me; I teared up and couldn’t talk to him.   He sat down by me and remained silent.  It was comforting just to have his presence.

When I got up to leave, he walked me to the door, introduced himself and gave me his card.   I had never seen him before or even knew that we had a seminarian.  I was a frequent visitor at the church as a parishioner. volunteer and Bible class teacher.  I told him my dad was very ill and it did not look hopeful.

I also told him there were other issues in the family going on.  Dad’s ailment evoked some see-saw emotions and not everyone was themselves.  That in itself was disturbing and distracting.  We needed to be a family unit at this time.  He told me he had a similar situation in his own family and shared it.  When it was time for me to go, He asked me where I lived which was a few blocks from the church.  He also asked me how he could reach me  and if he could visit with me at the church again or at my home.  We exchanged numbers and cards.

The next week I got in the habit of stopping at the church each day after work or the hospital visit, and the seminarian was always in the church.  He would smile and ask me how my dad and the family were doing.   We would chat by the door and he shared his own family  deaths and loss experiences, which helped me understand my own.  He had a comforting style and always lifted my spirits after these visits.

Two weeks went by.  My father was still on the ventilator and the stress continued.   After one really wrung-out day, I didn’t even want to stop by the church.   I went straight home and just sat in my living room for a long time trying to deal with all the feelings that were almost overwhelming.  My doorbell rang and I stepped out onto the porch and there was the seminarian.  He asked me if I could come out and sit with him on my lawn bench.

I had just prayed and it was so comforting to see him.   We talked awhile and shared feelings about families and deaths.  Looking back, I don’t remember discussing any other subjects.  We only spoke  about death, prayers, the sick, loss feelings and our after-death beliefs.  He had such insights especially about Scriptures, and stated them so beautifully – always with a relevant, strong spiritual aspect.   After such talks, I would think, “He has so much knowledge and he’s so young.”

From the time our dad went into the hospital and the time he left this life..... it ended after 30 long days.   I visited with the seminarian almost every day until Dad died.

Our family planned the services immediately in our hometown which was 30 miles away from my own. Planning them, as most of us have experienced, took several days plus additional days of the services and funeral.   I was gone from home for almost a week.

Returning home, I thought of the young priest-to-be and felt so thankful for the guidance and friendship he showed during the past month.   Many insights he shared with me came to mind during the funeral service and highly emotional moments.   Again, impulsively, I pulled into the parking lot and went to the church office.   I asked if the young man was available, and the secretary said that he was done with his parish work here and was reassigned to another parish.  She wasn’t sure which one it was, but could try to find out.

I told her it was not necessary.  To me he was an Angel and Heaven-sent.  I don’t believe in coincidences. He was there throughout my dad’s entire leaving-this-world process.   He never asked me for anything nor did he ever tell me any of his own issues or personal problems.   He solely helped me get through my impending loss.   And he did just that.  I was filled with gratitude for the daily comfort he brought.  He fulfilled his ‘assignment’ and moved on.

I never saw or heard about him again.   And I am grateful to God for sending him to help me through such a sad time …….”For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways.”  Psalm 91:11

Fran Coppola Signorino

 

 

Jesus asks, “Are you Asleep?”

 Image result for free pictures of jesus in the garden

On Holy Thursday, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to His disciple, Simon Peter",...are you asleep?  Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

Today, I ask you:   are you asleep?  Can you not spend one hour a week watching and praying to Jesus to protect you from tests and trials?  Do you find other things to do even though you feel you should spend some time in thanks, praise and prayers in God's House? 

Or do you go to church and think of other things while you are there or check out who is attending?   Are you fearful of others who are sitting close to you.  Do you listen to the sermon and apply it to your life?   If you have a church that has communion, do you receive it and quickly walk out the door once you have and not spent some time in the communion of soul with Christ that you just received?

Once you form a relationship with Jesus, you will feel differently about praying and praising Him.   Forming a relationship with Him is easy; simply find a quiet place and talk to Him. In your own words and feelings.   Ask Him to lead you, teach you and give you the gift of Himself.   He will answer you - he answers in different ways.   He may answer you in thought, or feelings, or signs and acts.  You will feel it.

Once your spirit is willing, your flesh will no longer be weak.  You will be stronger in any and all tests that may come your way.   Peace will be yours.   He will guide you and hold your hand.   You will never be alone again.  

We celebrate Easter through His death and resurrection to be the light and inspiration in our lives now and forever. 

If you want to know Christ intimately, pray to the Holy Sprit for Wisdom and Understanding and read the Bible - start with the New Testament and Jesus' Words.   You will receive a Gift that will save your life.   Forever.  

Marie Coppola.  February 2021

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About Marie Coppola

Marie Coppola A long-time human resources administrator and paralegal (B.S. in Business Administration/ Psychology, Certified Paralegal), Marie writes to aid employees with positive career options and resources, and to assist in career development solutions for students and employees; counsels on resumes, securing employment, and being successful with promotable possibilities. Marie finds inspiration in her faith, which she enjoys passing on to others, and finds gratification in helping others wherever she can. Got a question, need advice? Marie can be reached at mcopp@ymail.com

 

I'm commenting on Mr. Lee Hamilton's opinion that "we all know what needs to happen, now just do it".  This new phase of our national life is in deep distress?   We are very divided and polarized.  It was made clear to those who are not Democrats that our country has succumbed to socialism and all the wisdom in the world won't seep through that idea.

Half of this country voted for Donald Trump and it wasn't about his hat.   The man did the most  for America that he could.   He worked and brought up morale - unlike the Democrats allowing their cities being torn apart and not wanting President Trump to stop it.  'We just need to do it?'  Go out into the streets and try to stop Democratic protestors hit seniors with steel pipes?   And then deny they were protestors but put there by Trump?   Not,  How do we turn to our traditional ways with these non-American Acts being done and lying about it?   It is evident that  Trump tried to rally the country back from all the violence & murders going on in Democratic cities but the Dems said, "No".  He was kept busy warding off a  ridiculous impeachment for the almost 4 years of his term of presidency.  Still is now that he is out of office.  Is that how we revitalize our democracy?  By lying and pointing fingers?

What happened to Dem's "attempts" to govern?   Did they govern at the spectacle of the Judge Kavanaugh admission to the Supreme Court?   This was compromise?  It was something our country will never forget,  Dems didn't have to bind up their own wounds.  They caused wounds to this man and his family - it was difficult to watch.   We need to 'bind our wounds'?   Why were they caused?  The Democratic party made a new face for themselves that day and it was mean. 

Yes, we need leaders who can communicate and talk to each other - not rip up speeches to gain attention.  What do our children learn from all these uncomfortable "truths" when they see the other party is responsible for what they say and do, too,   Nancy Pelosi and her crew showed the worst respect for a president of the U.S. we have ever seen - and it went world-wide.   Shame on the bad mouthing of our president  because he was popular - he said good things about America - and how we could make it better.   The Dems -  to my view - wanted the power and were willing to use any way they could get it.  They brought us down.   So did the media who were in their pockets.   False charges against the president from the Dems and confirmed by a rude and false media.   How do you bind those wounds?

Your last paragraph says we expect leaders to work together to solve problems.  Trump did more than many other presidents to solve USA problems.  He was also the proud husband of a lovely First Lady who was snubbed by magazines and other media.  Terrible remarks - the first of its kind in our country.  Is this America?  The Dems formed their own alliance to make it not work - they acted like spoiled children who want to get even.   Did they get even?   Or did we go from their swamp agendas of  'from the fire' into the frying pan?   74 million of us think so,

Marie Coppola  February 7, 2021

I'm commenting on Mr. Lee Hamilton's opinion that "we all know what needs to happen, now just do it".  This new phase of our national life is in deep distress?   We are very divided and polarized.  It was made clear to those who are not Democrats that our country has succumbed to socialism and all the wisdom in the world won't seep through that idea.

Half of this country voted for Donald Trump and it wasn't about his hat.   The man did the most  for America that he could.   He worked and brought up morale - unlike the Democrats allowing their cities being torn apart and not wanting President Trump to stop it.  'We just need to do it?'  Go out into the streets and try to stop Democratic protestors hit seniors with steel pipes?   And then deny they were protestors but put there by Trump?   Not.  How do we turn to our traditional ways with these non-American Acts being done and lying about it?   It is evident that  Trump tried to rally the country back from all the violence & murders going on in Democratic cities but the Dems said, "No".  He was kept busy warding off a  ridiculous impeachment for the almost 4 years of his term of presidency.  Still is now that he is out of office.  Is that how we revitalize our democracy?  By lying and pointing fingers?

What happened to Dem's "attempts" to govern?   Did they govern at the spectacle of  Judge Kavanaugh admission to the Supreme Court?   This was compromise?  It was something our country will never forget,  Dems didn't have to bind up their own wounds.  They caused wounds to this man and his family - it was difficult to watch.   We need to 'bind our wounds'?   Why were they caused?  The Democratic party made a new face for themselves that day and it was mean. 

Yes, we need leaders who can communicate and talk to each other - not rip up speeches to gain attention.  What do our children learn from all these uncomfortable "truths" when they see the other party is responsible for what they say and do, too,   Nancy Pelosi and her crew showed the worst respect for a president of the U.S. we have ever seen - and it went world-wide.   Shame on the bad mouthing of our president  because he was popular - he said good things about America - and how we could make it better.   The Dems -  to my view - wanted the power and were willing to use any way they could get it.  They brought us down.   So did the media who were in their pockets.   False charges against the president from the Dems and confirmed by a rude and false media.   How do you bind those wounds?

Your last paragraph says we expect leaders to work together to solve problems.  Trump did more than many other presidents to solve USA problems.  He was also the proud husband of a lovely First Lady who was snubbed by magazines and other media.  Terrible remarks - the first of its kind in our country.  Is this America?  The Dems formed their own alliance to make it not work - they acted like spoiled children who want to get even.   Did they get even?   Or did we go from their swamp agendas of  'from the fire' into the frying pan?   74 million of us think so,

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up to 500 million people – about one-third of the world’s population – became infected with the 1918 Pandemic virus, according to the Centers for  Disease Control & Protection.   As many as 50 million died, or one out of every 30 human beings on the planet.  The virus killed more American troops than died on World War I battlefields.

The intensity and speed with which the flu struck were almost unimaginable. It was the worst global pandemic in modern history.

"Influenza viruses, with the vast silent reservoir in aquatic birds, are impossible to eradicate," the World Health Organization warned.  "With the growth of global travel, a pandemic can spread rapidly globally with little time to prepare a public health response."

If an equal ratio of Americans died in a pandemic today, that would be 2 million Americans. That's the current population of the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Pandemics ignore national borders, social class, economic status and even age.  The pandemic killed more people in 24 months than AIDS killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century, according to the book "The Great Influenza."  The dead included about 675,000 people in the United States. In just October alone, the worst single month in the U.S., an unthinkable 100,000 Americans died. Many were young adults in the prime of their life.    The World Health Organization said the 1918 influenza pandemic was known colloquially as “Spanish flu,” although there was nothing “Spanish” about the epidemic. 

What can we do to get through these next months with Covid-19?  We can give thanks.  Wikipedia defines  'thanks' as gratitude, appreciation or thankfulness which is a positive emotion in acknowledgment or that one has received or will.  It's hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when we have to wear masks, distance ourselves or feel gratitude if we have lost a loved one to this event.   It's hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when the economy is poor; there are wars & rumors of war, heated disagreements over how the government should be run; foreclosures; and even personal problems caused by these events.   It is disheartening that there are mega problems that surround us today.  A hopeless feeling might come over some of us.  Have you thought of giving thanks for anything recently?  Is there anything that you are thankful for?  God talks to us via the Bible and tells us:"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalms 100:4   The Lord tells us in Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

God wants us to be happy. His Word in Scripture reflects this. He instructs us in His Ways in the Bible and His instructions pave the way to happiness, peace and prosperity. How do we know that God wants us to be happy? He tells us in Proverbs 17:22:

"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

One of the ways you can get happier and over the disillusionment of life’s events is to start praising God and thanking Him. There are uncountable things we can thank him for and show true gratitude for. They can be little things; in fact, it’s the little things that change your heart from downtrodden to a cheerful heart. I thank God for opening my eyes to see every morning and being able to get out of bed. I thank Him for the capability to drive, work, exercise, read, share love with my mate, family and/or friends and for every meal I partake. These are all gifts and blessings from God. Not everyone has them.   You may have different ones - think about them.  We all have so many blessings we take for granted.   We have  many avenues we can use to fight it.   There are vaccines coming available.

I give thanks to Him and Praise Him. ‘All good things come from God’. They don’t have have to be lottery wins, or windfalls or extraordinary happenings. The more I praise Him and thank Him, the more cheerful I become. The negative things in my life become less prominent. Two matters cannot occupy the same space. My praises highlight the thankfulness; my thankfulness highlights the good and negates the bad; my gratitude is mind-changing.

Become aware of all the good things in your life. Start praising God for all the good things; give Him genuine gratitude. And you will find that you will achieve a happy heart and a cheerful mind. And when you become uplifted, don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for that, too!

Marie Coppola updated October 13, 2020