So my idea the other morning was to go to Mass with the kids and offer it up for my father and his intentions since it was his birthday and to be perfectly honest, in the back of my head I was thinking, "He needs all the help he can get!" I began to get a clue that God had a different plan today when the very elderly priest who usually gives a 2 - 3 sentence homily pulled out all the stops and went on for about 5 minutes with some wonderful words that really spoke to my heart.
When I first sat down in the pew and bowed my head, I was thinking that this was the best gift I could offer my Dad not because it was the most perfect prayer, but because I had determined that he needed this grace and I was going to get it for him whether he liked it or not. (Wow, reading that it sounds even worse than it did in my head.) Father spoke about how we should mentally put our names at the end of the Apostles and ask ourselves whether or not we measure up. Have we taught the example of Our Lord in word and deed to others? If not, where better to start than in our own family.
There are many people who have left the Church through divorce (that one hit home), bad catechism and scandal. Don't try to solve their problem, let God do that. We have to realize that God has a plan for us every day. He has something for us to do and we need to approach our day (and our loved ones) with an open mind and a prayerful attitude. We may think it plain and ordinary but it is in the mundane that the passing on of the Faith happens.
I realized that, yes, going to Mass was a good thing to do for my father but that just showing up with him in mind on one day out of the year was the least I could do. I can't solve his problems but I can do more for him, every day, in little ways. Changing a diaper, teaching a lesson, sweeping my floor (biting my tongue!). It may not change him, but it might change me into a better representative of the Church that I love and the one perfect Father who loves perfectly. Here's hoping!