Monday, January 27, 2014

One Family, One Way-Christ's Way -- A tribute to Grandma C

Friends of Faith:
A tribute to Grandma C, a child of God for 106 years, a teacher to many, a wife to one, a mother to three, a grandmother of 19, a great grandmother of 44, a great-great grandmother to 7½, a cook, a farmer, a fisherman, a musician, a rosary and prayer warrior, living one way—Christ’s Way.
Her purpose was always God’s purpose—to live His Way. She lived by AND let her life teach us what Paul spoke to the Philippians about living. Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
She rejoiced always, finding good in all, being kind to all.
She prayed always, never beginning a meal, or a day, without the Lord. He was always near to her. She prayed for us all—especially these last few years when praying for us became her soul purpose in life. She made known to him the requests of family and friends and the hopes she had for each of us: that we would be holy, that we would be well and that we would be one with Him—without division, without anxiety, with our hearts open to love and our minds guarded from taking and making our own paths.
Even her card playing had a greater purpose: to teach us how to seek and grant forgiveness… especially to those who in partnership caused her an unintentional loss, or who in competition were granted the luxury to win even a single hand.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Phil 4: 4-9
This week we give her tribute. As one of her daughter’s said: Grandma C continues to remind and inspire us never to forget to live one way, Christ’s way…she, like He, is still near, still teaching us to live by His example— drawing us together as one family, as Christ draws us to be one Church in understanding and peace.
Yesterday we heard another of the gospel’s she lived by, another tribute to her desire to teach us not to live our way, but to live Christ’s way; not to create any division amongst God’s family or any of ours—but to be one Christian church family, with one purpose to live as Christ loved, serving each other in gracious patience and kindness.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.” 1 Cor 1:10
She understood what was truly great and important about life. That life was about “Old MacDonald’s farm,” singing “ti, ti, ti,” eating and baking: kolaches, dumplings, and fried chicken, hard work, always being ready to lend a helping hand, playing a game of “Pepper,” and praying and teaching us to pray (never just say) the Rosary.
So she lived a life that was honorable, that was pure, that was lovely and gracious, an example of over a 106 years to all of us who knew her and were blessed by her presence in our lives: That he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” Eph 5:27.
Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord. And let perpetual light and the peace of God be with her always. May the spirit of Christ be with her, and with us, always. And may the angels carry her and every unfinished rosary to heaven. Amen.

Great-Great Grandma Hattie Agnes Cibula, 1908-2014.

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