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God’s generosity is beyond measure…

God’s generosity is beyond measure…

Summary

Weaving a collection of memorable magazine columns, John Clark has a heartwarming reflection on family, beginnings, and possible destinations.

When I started writing a monthly article for Seton Magazine sixteen years ago (it was a “newsletter” back then), I wrote quite a bit about my children. Over the past years, however, I haven’t mentioned my children as often in columns, so I thought I’d provide you long-time faithful readers with an update.

Lisa and I have been blessed with nine children here on Earth. (We also suffered three miscarriages, so we believe that there are three Clark children in Heaven right now, patiently waiting for Mom and Dad to come home.) From oldest to youngest, they are named Athanasius, Veronica, Demetrius, Tarcisius, Philomena, Dominica, Bonaventure, Immaculata, and Mary Katherine.

During the summer of 2020, Lisa and I made the decision to move our family to Kissimmee, Florida. When some of my adult children heard the idea, they loved it, so they came with us. We gave away about 90% of our material possessions and made the drive a thousand miles south with whatever we could fit in the back of a Honda Odyssey and the trunk of a Ford Mustang. We’ve lived here ever since.

First Day of School

When I first started writing my columns, Athanasius was playing high school baseball, and I wrote a lot about sports. Some of you might also remember that I wrote an article about Athan’s first day of school, which—as a homeschooler—was his first day in college. Today, Athanasius works in the communications field. Over the past years several years, he has learned the Korean language fluently.

My oldest daughter, Veronica, lives on the west coast. You might remember that I wrote a story about Veronica, in which I described her walking through a Christmas store as a toddler in amazement. She now works as a store manager.

Perhaps you remember a story about my desire to have Demetrius’ level of the virtue of humility. Demetrius is working towards entering the seminary in the coming months and becoming a priest.

Fifteen years ago, I wrote about Tarcisius enjoying golf. He now works as an assistant manager in a golf store. He has better innate instincts about finance and economics than almost anyone I’ve ever known, so I’d expect him to be a famous Wall Street expert before too long.

Back in 2009, I wrote a story about Philomena’s sense of wonder and love of questions. It is said that “wonder is the beginning of philosophy,” so it comes as no surprise that Philomena is going to graduate from Ave Maria University in May with a degree in Philosophy. She is planning to obtain her Masters Degree in Theology after graduation.

Insight from the Kid’s Table

Whereas Philomena has been blessed with questions, Dominica has been gifted with answers. You may remember a 2013 column I wrote about my preference for sitting at the kid’s table rather than the adult’s table. “Why the preference?” I asked my children. Dominica knew the answer. She said: “At the adult table, they talk about money and paying rent and bills. That just makes you worry. At the kids’ table, we talk about unicorns and lollipops and monkeys and coloring books.” That’s a pretty impressive insight for a ten-year-old. Today, Dominica has a dance scholarship at Ave Maria University and is double-majoring in Literature and Theology. (And still sitting at the kid’s table.)

In 2010, I wrote about Bonaventure’s love of Star Wars sound effects. He recently submitted a composition for a young composers’ challenge. I’m not sure what the movies are going to look like in the coming years, but I’m confident that Bonaventure will be writing the soundtracks for them.

Also, in 2010, I wrote about a time when Immaculata was scared because the power went out due to a storm. I went into her room and told her, “I’m with you, Immaculata. I’m watching over you. Nothing bad will happen to you tonight.” That was enough reassurance for her, and she dozed off.

Who’s Got You?

Of course, it would have been fair of her to echo Lois Lane’s comment to Superman: “You’ve got me? Who’s got you?” Though she intuited it then, she can explain it now: “God has me.”

As part of her homeschooling, Immaculata has been intensely studying music and learning guitar. Though I never received my father’s musical talents, I’m happy to see that his talent only skipped one generation.

In 2009, I wrote a column celebrating the birth of Mary Katherine called Eight Isn’t Enough. Much like her mom, Mary Katherine can read an entire Louisa May Alcott or Jane Austen novel in just a few days. She also loves French. I’m guessing she’s going to major in French Literature at the Sorbonne. When Mary Katherine was born, I wrote that I was truly overwhelmed by the immense generosity of God.

Looking at my family, I still am.

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