Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom
When Moses did not know what to do any more about the disputes, arguments and disagreements among the 400,000 men plus women he was leading across the 40 yr journey, totally exhausted and at wit’s end he went to God to complain, that’s a very Jewish thing, complain, that is what Fiddle on the Roof said, and they are our older brothers and they taught us well.
The dispute issue is so second nature to us, no?. I find it most revealing what God did to settle things.
He asked Moses to gather the ELDERS, and delegate to them the dispute resolving tasks, reserving for Moses the most difficult ones. This so very revealing of God and His creation, how He reserved for the elders the wisdom to pry apart the human condition.
So if they have been gifted naturally to clarity to see the human entanglement in the midst of arguments… I wonder why is that they are exclusively the ones to be afflicted with dementia, Alzheimer, those impairments that not only obscure the clarity in wisdom but takes away the ability to remain clear, cognitive and engaged with reality. I wonder what God thinks of this.
A very good friend of mine, while caring for her Alzheimer afflicted husband, discovered the most amazing thing that had not been discovered before about the disease. The person regresses his life, identically stepping on the very steps he stepped on the way forward. Most interesting!!
Years ago, while visiting nursing homes with the missionaries of charity, I must confess that was the absolute most difficult ministry for me EVER, more that prisons, catechism, marriage counseling, there is nothing I have done that is more difficult to take than nursing homes. I see to perfection what Blessed Mother Teresa meant when she said that the greatest poverty is loneliness. How true. Those poor old committed for the rest of the lives people were abandoned for the most part by their closest family members. There were people there that had not had visitors for years and years; some, never.
Yet….. they looked expectantly at the door whenever someone went by. I could not bear it then and I can’t bear it now. It all comes rushing back as my father faces the very same dead-end end.
My mom died at 57 of a heart attack during her sleep, escaping the very same end her 2 sisters met, one died of Alzheimer and the other of dementia. Her brother died of a heart attack at 57.
My father’s 3 sisters died of Alzheimer, and his one brother was the only one that was cabal to the end. He is the one that fought hardest with God all his life. Consumed with rage against Him, he would tell anyone who would listen, most specially priests that Jesus was Prometheus, of the Greek Mythology and he came back to earth to beg for forgiveness for having brought the fire of the gods down to us. Yes, my friends, Jesus came to ask for forgiveness, ironically, he of that entire generation has been the only one who died in his own bed, surrounded by his own family, him and them praying the rosary. Who would have thought it….. Not in my wildest dreams.
Mercy, unadulterared MERCY.
My father now is well on his way to dementia, brutally fighting everyone around that wants to help, the traffic, the doctors, the cleaning woman, the guy who cuts his lawn, who ever at McDonald’s that brushes against him slightly, but since he has no one to talk to anymore, he calls me. The one he wants to call least.
And as irrational he has always been, I find interesting that he can be even more irrational still. So, I wonder if there is a consequential connection in the life of the person that ends up disconnected from reality yet spending the rest of his days in an inescapable regressing journey. And what of that wisdom specifically reserved by God to be bestowed upon the elders as to help society pry apart the thick confusion mankind lives in today .
Are there elders worthy of such grace left today??
For those who met Father John Hardon, he oooozzed wisdom. Anyone standing near him would slosh around the oozings from Father’s spilling wisdom. I was with him during 3 retreats among the many he gave. I did not recognize the incredible grace I received by having been taught by one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
I wish I could ask him now.
God chose the elder to be the ones to help us think thru the muddled messes we get into, yet, a massive amount of our elders are been stricken with dementia, another bunch are discarded as human garbage. I wonder how many are left as patriarchal or matriarchal pillars upon which families build their futures upon, like God said to Moses. Choose from among the elder…. There are not enough. And those in the US supreme court …..scare me. That’s no wisdom. No God given wisdom.