In From the Vine

By Kate Anderson

FDR Memorial – Washington DC by Tim Evanson via Flikr. CC BY-SA 2.0

 

For nearly 16 months, my dear Dad plumped hospital pillows, formed alliances with nurses, and asked doctors hard questions. He never tallied the hours spent in waiting rooms or miles driven to treatments. Grandpa was the “cause” of my devoted “dad-vocate,” who unceasingly encouraged and supported his father through twists of events. Even when Grandpa’s plan of care turned from hope-filled treatments to heartbreaking hospice, my Dad never stopped seeking the utmost for his best friend.

These intimate moments I witnessed between my Dad and Grandpa taught me more about advocacy than a lifetime of courtroom dramas and social justice biographies. His advocacy for Grandpa was a pure and selfless gift of love. My Dad taught me that the greatest advocates never stop fighting for what is true, good, or beautiful because they desire the best for the other person.

Advocacy on this side of heaven is only a glimpse of the spiritual reality we are invited into daily. The risen Jesus speaks these peace-infused words from today’s Gospel to all of us: “He will give you an Advocate to be with you always.” In spite of our resurrected hopes and Easter joys, Jesus knew we would still struggle without His presence.

And so He offers the Holy Spirit to be our own faithful advocate. The Spirit is our spokesperson, our consoler, and our comforter. Through this gift, we have a champion who will fight for our every need, great and small! Our Advocate is near in the crushing news, the impossible tasks, and the unbearable crosses of our lives. God the Holy Spirit desires our best and will faithfully stay with us until the end, as the best advocates do.

Our invitation in each moment is to recognize the nearness of the One pleading our cause. We can name the small comforts and blessed consolations gently hidden in each moment. Contemplate how our Advocate upholds us through the Eucharist and other sacramental graces. Thank those who have bolstered our weary and drooping spirits. Advocate for that special person or cause that touches our heart through generous gifts of time or talent.

Advocacy is for each of us—not just the folks recognized by Merriam-Webster. Whether you lean into the support of the Spirit today or bravely go forth to bolster others, know that you are ever accompanied by the Divine: He in us, and we in Him.

About the Author:

Kate Anderson is a young Catholic with an old soul. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Bethel University this spring, she will pursue meaningful work in public relations, human resources, or event management.  Kate enjoys playing the piano, conversing with kindred spirits over warm beverages, and reading spiritual books.

 

 

Showing 6 comments
  • Mary Holtz
    Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful post Kate. It brings the term “Advocate” home to the here and now in such a personal and human way. I plan to share this at a meeting I will be attending today. Have a wonderful day. Mary, OFS.

  • Anne LaRose
    Reply

    Katie should apply for a job working with Dynamic Catholic with Matthew Kelly. He would love having Katie be apart of his team!!!! She is the type of person he looks to hire.

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    Beautiful. Due to the wisdom expressed, I fully expected the author to be at least middle-aged. Yes, a young Catholic with an old soul probably is a very apt description – though I’d add a” wise and Spirit-directed soul”! I’m forwarding to two friends who are caregivers. Thank you, Kate.

  • Carla
    Reply

    Kate! Thankyou so much for your well thought out, encouraging and inspiring words. You truly are an young Catholic with an old soul!!!

  • Mary
    Reply

    Kate, thank you for reminding me that I was an advocate for my dying Mom and Dad, imperfect as I was. I can hope that my children noticed, as you did, that I tried my best to look out for my parents’ needs. Thank you too for reminding me that especially when I feel alone, I can turn to the Holy Spirit who is advocating for me at my side. Beautiful reflection.

  • Lynne Keating
    Reply

    Beautiful! God bless you!

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