Photo © Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved here
By Frank J Casella
When I saw this moment of the golden hour morning sunlight illuminate the twisting branches of a tree, it made me think about family, friends, and the (end of year) holidays.
Our lives are a work in progress, they take many twists and turns, and each of us takes a different direction in life.
As we gather for the holidays, sometimes it can be very trying. Said another way, sometimes our friends can be more like family than our own family.
My take on it — branch out.
My late brother used to pick on me often at family gatherings, almost to the point that I didn’t show up at times. After he passed away it hit me in a big way what he was doing. That he was trying to express how much he believed in me but didn’t know how say it or show it. He really loved me as a brother.
Two days before he passed, it was he who called me to tell me how much he loved me.
If we allow the actions of others to build resentment towards them, we face the danger of spending the rest of our lives judging them instead of loving them for the person they are.
It is said that ‘hate corrupts the container it is in.’
All this to say, we branch out when our actions are what bring Family together or not. Be patient and try to see what others are saying or where they are coming from.
I learned from a very important friend the hard way, that every person has a right to their opinion. We also have a right to accept it or progress on without it.
For those of us who live our Faith, to branch out means that He is the vine and we are the branches. See everyone through the eyes of Christ. Love them, don’t judge them …
Yes, easier said than done. But unless we are on the edge of our chair, then we are not depending on God’s will and living our faith.
Frank J Casella is a professional photographer and co-founder of Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum.
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