Children with a good home, loving parents, and the daily necessities should develop into mature and successful members of society. In most cases true enough but there are examples to show it is not always always true.
A priest writing in the Catholic Times mentions meeting a young girl in her twenties years ago; she was a friend of a young man that the writer knew. He was extremely impressed with her maturity and behavior. She was cheerful, had a sunny disposition and was very talented in the use of language. He thought to himself this girl was nurtured by a wonderful family to be so self possessed and act the way she did.
On one occasion the young man visiting with the girl excused himself, and the girl and the priest remained to talk. Her story astounded him. Her mother and father divorced when she was very young. She was separated from her mother and the friction with the stepmother was deep and serious, accompanied with a deep grudge against her father. It was a rough childhood and she managed it all by herself.
She told the priest she does not have any belief. What has kept her going are a few words of someone who loved her. " I will always be at your side." These were the words of her grandmother. She went on to say: "Father, if it weren't for these words coming from my grandmother's heart I would not be here. When I was a child I did not make much of these words, but when faced with great disappointments and failures, these words of my grandmother sounded in my heart clearly, and enabled me to keep going."
Words spoken with with sincerity, writes the priest, are able to change a life. This is another reason for us to be conscious of what we say and when we say it. Each one we meet is an eternal responsibility and the way we treat that person can have repercussions that continue over a life time for good or bad.