Sunday, February 1, 2015

Religious Faith: A Valuable Legacy

Many things are handed down to us by our parents. One is their belief system--their religion. Often  considered of little value and discarded, but there are those that consider the practice of faith their most valued possession, or better said, what possesses them.

Bible & Life in a special section of the magazine has articles on the gift of faith received from parents. A Salesian Sister recalls her life as a Catholic and her earliest recollection was of the Easter Midnight Mass. She and her younger sister not able to overcome the drowsiness fell asleep, using her mother's clothes as bedding, both would sleep on the wooden floor.The mother would wake them at the Gloria when the bells, both in and outside the  church would ring, and again at the end of Mass when the Eucharist would be put in the tabernacle. Here she was told Jesus arose from the dead. Now when she sees the tabernacle light it is a sign of the resurrection.

The church was just a few minutes walk from her house and they used the church yard as their park. She would go to the church to study and even nap. In the evening as the sun was setting her mother would ask her to call her father for supper, and she would  go up to the roof top to call him, he would be saying the rosary in the church yard. Hearing his daughter's call he would go to statue of the Blessed Mother, and she knew that the message had been delivered.

Her family had not been Catholics for long, and the occasion was the sickness of her older brother. The mother was  preparing her offering of rice to give to the female shaman, and was told by the  woman who was to be her godmother to give the offering to the bigger shaman at the church. This was the godmother's way of introducing the mother to the church. The brother was cured and the reason the mother entered the church and the two girls were baptized. The grandfather and husband were adamantly opposed but she went ahead, and the two girls became attached to the church from an early age.

The father later on also was baptized, and became a regular worker for the church; he  even said if he came back to this world after death he would want to be a monk, this was not received well by the mother who retorted she introduced him to the church.

It was thanks to her families example that she became a nun. In her middle years she was afflicted with insomnia; during this time she ran across a passage in Revelations: "Think how far you have fallen! Turn  from your sins and do what you did at first" (Rev. 2:5). When did she fall and need to  repent? She realized that she was not thankful for the many gifts that she received, and was only concerned for what she didn't have and wanted.

In conclusion she thanks Bible & Life  for the opportunity to write about her gift of faith. In writing the article she became conscious of all the gifts she received from God, family, her religious community, and all those she has been working with, and is filled with gratitude.

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