Growing up I often heard the phrase…. ” Boy, she’s one tough cookie”. This meant a no-nonsense person…one you didn’t trifle with…. no “funny business” with this person. While I believe it originally was applied to women, it could be a man too…..although I don’t remember John Wayne being called a “tough cookie”. The phrase got expanded to “he or she’s a smart cookie”…this was obviously someone who was pretty smart or clever.
Well, anyway I believe we broke new ground the other day with another type of cookie. I was complimenting my wife Judy on being a “tough cookie” and she responded, “ I don’t really care about being a tough cookie, I just want to be a “holy cookie”.
Wow, that was quite a moment. I think I know how Watson felt when Alexander Graham Bell said “ Mr. Watson, come here; I want you.” (at the invention of the telephone in case you’ve forgotten.)
Life is not easy and we all need to be a little “tough” at times to get through various trials. How do you become a “tough cookie”…. or better yet a “ tough & holy cookie”? Well, I think we need to work at it. We need to pray and have a good trainer. We can’t fold when the “going gets tough”…. asking the Holy Spirit to help us… to help us train well thru prayer ….. allowing the truth of God to form us. When we get knocked on our fanny, we need to pop back up… asking the Holy Spirit to give us a hand. We need the help of others. We just can’t quit. We cannot quit when things are difficult. We have no option…we must keep going.
This past week there were two tragic deaths in our parish…. deaths that knock the wind out of you, that take your breath away, that can make you want to crawl in a hole. Two families are left to pick up the pieces and go on. How can they do it? Well, it’s going to be very hard for those affected….old and young and even children. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help them… to give them strength and consolation from “on high”. For our part we need to pray and be there to help them…to walk along side of them. No simple solutions, no pious platitudes will be enough…only real love and seeking the Lord for his help. So, let’s do our part when we see those who need help. Let’s be a little tough ourselves so we can give strength to those who are suffering. And at the end, may we all be a little tougher and a little holier. As always, the Lord will have the last word…. and all will be well with our souls.