When my sons were in their teens, the protestations began about attending Mass. I explained to them that this was my job, part of the job of raising them – to build a solid foundation of faith. They rolled their eyes and simply chalked it up with all the other restrictions and limitations I placed on their lives. I speak singularly, as if my husband wasn’t in the picture. He was, but he was the softy; I was the one who held them to the house rules. I never felt I was a strict disciplinarian, but once
we decided on a certain plan of action – I didn’t waffle, as someone else might have.
Skip ahead two decades and we have finally reached that point I had always heard about and had only dreamed of – that point in their lives when they see us differently; they admire our wisdom. Our one son, with three children, now realizes the importance of rules and holding kids to them. His younger brother – soon to be a father, is observant. Our daughters-in-law often swell our heads, complimenting us on raising such wonderful sons. I simply look heavenward, with thankful praise to God for his bounteous gifts. They are not church goers, these sons of ours, but they were given a foundation of faith, they were taught respect and were respected, and they were immersed in love. I have hope…I have faith.
On Mother’s Day, our oldest, invited not only his parents to his house, but his in-laws, his brother and his wife – the expectant parents - and his brother’s in-laws. We mothers were honoured but I, and most especially my son’s wife, were very proud. He worked tirelessly to ensure everything was just so, for these many women in his life.
I learned from my own parents that lecturing and preaching to non-practicing children does nothing to increase their desire to return to the Church. In many instances, it alienates grown children from their parents. My son once told his wife (right in front of me), “Some people preach their faith, but my parents live their faith.” My eyes welled up with tears. I have hope…I have faith.
Sitting and observing all the busyness of Mother’s Day, what I witnessed everywhere I looked was love. My husband and my son, busy in the kitchen; my younger son and his pregnant wife, cuddled up on the chaise in the living room; the grandchildren playing on the floor with their other grandpa, and we ladies sitting around the dining room table, sipping wine, laughing and sharing stories of times past. Everywhere I looked, I saw love. God’s love. God is love.
A dear friend very recently said to me, “God equals love – love equals God.” I have great faith…I have much hope.