Love One Another! 6/2005 → Christian family
Having spent two years in Italy, I have come to appreciate the
value of faith. Thanks to my faith in God I now enjoy a life that
is both beautiful and meaningful. In July of 2000 I came to a lovely
spot called Ravello where contact with scenic nature raised me to
I lived and breathed the beauties of creation and the Creator.
It was there, in one of the churches, that I came across a letter
written by parents to their children. I have read it many times
and think it is worth citing:
Forgive us for teaching you that
happiness consists in one’s work and career.
Forgive us for giving you money
and things instead of godly values.
Forgive us for teaching you the
easy way instead of the true way of faith.
Forgive us for devoting more time
to criticizing than to setting a good example.
Forgive us for choosing to pursue
money so as to earn a few extra pennies.
Forgive us for never finding the
time to give you our full attention, to talk to you, pray with
you and have fun together.
Forgive us for taking the wrong
road, for increasing our worldly goods while cheating you of love.
Forgive us for not passing on to
you the most precious thing — faith in God.
I am 25 years old. My life has been no bed of roses. My father
drank and I have been seriously ill. But thanks to my mother’s
deep faith we got through these hardships. My mother was a plain
and simple woman. But she loved God. Whenever I think back to my
childhood I am overcome with sadness. So many sleepless nights.
Lack of money to meet our basic needs. Shame over my alcoholic father.
And then my illness — epilepsy. I could never have managed if
it had not been for my mother’s faith. I saw in her a model
of patience and hope. To this day I see her starting each day rosary
in hand, meditating on the gospel mysteries. Whenever she left for
work it was with a prayer on her lips. It was so beautiful watching
our mother. There was something very special about her. She loved
God with all her heart and because of this she was able to bear
the heavy cross that life burdened her with. By watching her, I
learned to imitate her.
When I was 13, I began to suffer from epileptic seizures. My world
changed dramatically and if it had not been for the divine strength
that flowed to me through daily prayer, I’m sure I would have
committed some stupidity or other. I found my illness to be an impossible
burden. But in those difficult moments I did have God — my Friend,
Lord and Savior. I also had my mother’s support, her prayers
and hopes. And so life was more bearable. In time I learned that
Jesus required this smidgen of salvific suffering from me. I thought
of becoming a nun, but my vocation lay in marriage.
I am now a happily married woman. My husband and I are expecting
a baby. I pray that my child will love God above all things; that
he or she will walk in His ways and live the Gospel joyfully. This
is what I want for our child, since this is what will make him or
her happy, even as I am happy.
My life has meaning today thanks in large part to my mother. For
this reason I appeal to all parents: raise your children in the
faith, set them a good example in the way you live. Live a life
in which God has pride of place! In these days of moral laxity and
unbridled consumerism, families need to pray daily and live the
Gospel values. In doing so they protect themselves from sin and
evil, and help their children weather the hardships that life will
burden them with. There is no other way of enjoying a good and happy