“Granny Foster” was the name we called our maternal grand-mother.
There came a time when she could no longer take care of herself and she was invited by my mother, to come and live with us.
She had an illnes of which we never knew of in those days. We thought it was arthritis and she suffered terribly as her bones ached and she had more and more difficulty in walking.
Today we know it was an illness transmitted genetically from one parent to a child. It is called Huntington’s disease
She had many a bad fall and she most probably had cataracts as her sight diminished more and more until she was blind. Granny Foster did not want to create any problems. My mother already had six children and taking care of them plus two grand-mothers was quite a burden.
She also had a daughter who lived in Surinam and one day she asked if she could dictate a letter and I agreed. So for at times, I offered her, my eyes. I would read to her letters from her daughter and she would dictate the answers.
One day she called me and asked, “Rolph can you take my prayer book and read something to me”. She indicated the Psalms and specifically Psalm 23…”The Lord is my shepherd”
I began..”The Lord is my shepherd.”….and her voice chimed the end..”I shall not want!”
I read on..”He maketh me to lie down in green pastures”…and she chimed in….”he leadeth me besides still waters…”
I stopped and said, “Granny you know this by heart dont you?”
“Yes, of course,” she said and I, terribly anxious to go out and play, said, “Granny, if you know it by heart, why do I have to read it to you? You can say it, but let me go out to play.”
She pleaded with me to stay and read it for her and I pleaded and asked why.
Finally she said, almost in tears, “because it is so beautiful to hear the Word of the Lord”!
I was too young and too stupid to understnd then as I do today. I know by now she has forgiven me but I owe it to tell her story.
For someone who was blind, how important it is to be able to hear and to feel. We who have our faculties will never know unless we lose some.
And for someone of faith, what strength there is in the Scriptures!
The Head Office of the Franciscans in Rome sent out a decree asking Franciscans all over the world to prepare and encourage Prayers for Peace, in the Spirit of what was done in Assisi.
For me, obedience to the will of God as to a path, can only come by listening. I will always remain thankful to the brother, minister, Provincial who, in his turn, received an order and then transmitted a call to me, to which I listened and obeyed.
The prayer by excellence for those of Jewish faith begins with “Hear O Israel” I believe it was important for Jesus and it is important for me and I found this video so beautiful I want to share it with you.