Week #7 of the 15-week gratitude challenge and the topic is thanking someone who helped you find God. I grew up going to Catholic school. As a young child I seem to remember that our Mass attendance was a given. As a teen we didn’t go to church as a family and I know I didn’t go on a regular basis. As a college student I found myself going fairly regularly on my own. Once I was married we had a routine of going to Mass on Saturday night and then going out to dinner. I started to become active in our church as a young, married adult.
I grew up with God as a part of my life, and can certainly thank my parents for that, but I can’t think of an epiphany where someone “helped me find God.” However, I can think of someone who modeled a family life of faith that I knew I wanted for my family someday. A life that I work hard to instill in the lives of my children…
Who helped me find my faith?
My Aunt Mary Lou is the mother of four children. If there was one impression I had of their lives when we were all growing up it was “they do a lot of church.” They went to Mass every week even when they were visiting for the summer. Mass on vacation just didn’t make sense at all to me at the time – though when we went to visit them, I remember going to church with them. All of my cousins were altar servers and active in their church. I barely volunteered at church and remember sketchily attending any sort of church functions. Even though I went to Catholic school, just like they did, they seemed much more closely tied to their church community.
I don’t remember making a conscious decision to model my family’s faith life after my Aunt’s family, but I can see now that her influence is strong. Going to Mass isn’t a question of “if” around here, it’s “when.” We go to Mass on vacation, even when I’m on a vacation with just my husband, we always find a church and go to Mass. My children are all active in our church. The rule in our house is that your church gives you a lot, you have to find at least one way to give back to your church. Our church community knows each of us by name and we know a lot of people in our church community. We pray as a family and I’ve worked hard to instill faith traditions into our lives outside of Mass.
Looking at my family I realize… we do a lot of church. It is a foundation of faith that I wanted to give my children. I have my Aunt to thank for that.
Thank you, Aunt Mary Lou for giving me a model of faith to follow.
15 weeks, 15 letters, 15 minutes. To kick off 2015. Read about the gratitude challenge here.