90

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Margaret Neal, my Mom, looking at a Magnolia near our house last week.

In this spirit, dear elderly brothers and sisters, as I encourage each of you to live with serenity the years that the Lord has granted you, I feel a spontaneous desire to share fully with you my own feelings at this point of my life, after more than twenty years of ministry on the throne of Peter. Despite the limitations brought on by age, I continue to enjoy life. For this I thank the Lord. It is wonderful to be able to give oneself to the very end for the sake of the Kingdom of God!

At the same time, I find great peace in thinking of the time when the Lord will call me: from life to life! And so I often find myself saying, with no trace of melancholy, a prayer recited by priests after the celebration of the Eucharist: In hora mortis meae voca me, et iube me venire ad te – “at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you.” This is the prayer of Christian hope, which in no way detracts from the joy of the present, while entrusting the future to God’s gracious and loving care. — St. John Paul II

My Mom turns 90 soon. She was born on 2.26.27. So this weekend is partay time for the Neals, with family flocking southward from up North too, to honor her life. So I won’t be posting until the festivities have ended and I have recovered. 🙂

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. — Proverbs 31:30-31

That’s my Mom. Her works praise her. They magnify God. She’s endured so much hardship in her life, and yet she remains a sweet, loving, beautiful soul filled with joy and hope. Pure, refined gold. I am not worthy to kiss her feet.

At my wedding, for the mother-son dance, I had Wind Beneath My Wings played.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

My life’s debt is to live with worthy gratitude for the sacrifices she made to make my life better.

She loves to remind me that, when I was 3 years old and she was pulling me in a wagon through our neighborhood, I said to her: “I love to look at your face.”

Still do.

The salvation of the whole world rests on a Mother’s love. The world’s salvation still rests in mothers. You know them. I know them.

Though age has caused my Mom decrease in abilities and shrink in height, her soul continues to expand in vigor. Hers is a magnanimity to which I aspire.

May God bring her good and happiness the rest of her days, and may the highest heights of eternal glory joyously greet her in the next.

Amen.

This entry was posted in Family.

6 comments on “90

  1. Jennifer says:

    Happy birthday and may God continue to bless you, Mrs. Neal! Enjoy being celebrated by your many loved ones this weekend.

  2. Nos says:

    Looking down ,HE says WOMAN, BEHOLD YOUR SON, and looking at john HE says ,BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER + + + + + + + … Thomas how
    beautiful a tribute to your mum… May your heartfelt prayer be carried on angels wings to the ears of the THREE…have that flip phone all charged up for lots of photo taking… have a Sammy for me my friend…

    P.S. my daughter played josh grobans “you raise me up” for the daddy daughter dance at her wedding take a listen tommy I think you’ll like it … May you’re recovery be short… P.B.W.Y.A.A.

  3. Claude Kenneson says:

    Wow! Indeed a reason to celebrate. Happy birthday Mrs. Neal!

  4. Allison says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Neal! I can only pray that my sons will look at me as you look at your mother.

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