The Widow’s Mite

I open a lot of mail.  I get letters and cards from many people.  Unsigned letters are always shredded unread.  Most letters are usually very kind.  One lady wrote to tell me my eyes were blue.  That was very nice of her, but I had known that already.  I wrote back to thank her and told her they were my mother’s eyes.  Another lady wrote to correct my Theology.  A man wrote to correct my history.  Some people write because they are angry at me or at the church for something.  A lady asked me to come with her to the cemetery to bury her husband’s ashes…in Ireland.  I’m thinking about that one.  I am not always able to put a face to the name on the card or letter, as is the case with one card I received today.

The first thing you notice about the card is that it is a real card.  It is a card from the Society of Saint Theresa.  It is an Easter card from the Carmelites.  When you open the card the inscription inside reads: “The Carmelites are remembering you and your intentions in a Novena of Masses.”  Inside the sender has taken the time to write words in steady and practiced Catholic school script in the Palmer Method: “I can only get to Mass watching it on TV with the Passionist Fathers.  I have heart problems and this has changed my life.  So, I send a donation once a month, when my almost blind macular degenerated eyes can manage it.  Enclosed please find my offering.”  The card is signed “Lillian.”

I have never met Lillian.  I want to meet her.  I will write to her and call her as soon as I finish typing this message.  I do know that Lillian is a woman of faith and she reminds me of the gospel story of the Widow’s Mite.  That woman who did not have much to live on, but made sure that she shared what little she had with those in need.  Lillian makes quite a sacrifice for you and me and forces us to look at our own generosity.  She doesn’t know I’m writing this about her.  She would probably tell me not to, so I’m not going to ask her.  If you ever meet Lillian, please thank her for her sacrifices for us at St. Martin’s.

– Fr. Gerard Gordon