“What’s the Word?”
This was the question my children asked when they were little after Mass. They wanted to know the word when the Priest says “Just say the Word and my soul shall be healed.”
I was envious that they saw life in such a simplistic way, there was a magical word out there that would make their lives perfect and they wanted to know what it was.
They would ask the Priest and teachers and the answer would usually be “it is symbolic.”
As the years passed my children continued to attend Mass and stayed involved in our church. They loved the church, but often questioned the practices. Not with intent to challenge, but instead out of curiosity. “With knowledge comes understanding,” I had always taught them. But sadly, many saw their questions as subversive and disrespectful. They were teased and ostracized because of their curiosity.
I was fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends who were strong in their faith; who loved, supported and accepted my girls without question. But, sadly, the cruelty of the few was stronger then the love of the many. One evening my daughter was asked to leave the church group she belonged to and told she was no longer welcome there. She begged and pleaded for months for them to allow her to return, but in their opinion her fate was sealed.
To all those Christians who form a circle with their backs to the world, and shun Gods children whose only crime is questioning the churches beliefs, you are losing a great opportunity to heal and bring a person into the faith, when we turn people away from the church we are killing a soul, and to murder a soul and to cause a person to turn away from God is the greatest sin of all in my opinion.
To this day I struggle with faith and going to church, I still am surrounded by the same wonderful friends who love,and accept my family and children without question, but the unjust actions of the few can be deafening. I still believe in God and The Church but when my children were hurt it broke my heart more deeply then any damage that could have ever been done to me directly.
Today is Easter Sunday and families of all faiths are getting ready to go crowd the churches with their family beside them, I am getting ready to go with my husband, my grown children are staying home not willing to enter any church.
I wish today more then anything that I could find for them the magical “Word” that they had searched for as children that would allow all our souls to be healed and have their trust in faith and God renewed.
2 thoughts on “What’s The Word”
I asked the exact same question in RCIA classes! So that means that as an adult I asked childish questions, or at a very young age your children were intelligent beyond their years! I believe the latter. I can’t recall if I received a satisfactory answer, but the fact that I continued to try and figure out this riddle leads me to believe that I did not accept the answer provided around 9pm on a chilly Wednesday night. But recently, because I am one to have a long memory, be stubborn, and harbor resentment…I know some of you can’t believe that about me…I have concluded that the Word is Forgiveness. It’s hard for me to sometimes do, but I find that there is a positive correlation between forgiveness and happiness. It’s hard to argue with statistical evidence. However, because I am who I am, I may forgive but I never forget. So if you have to pick one, choose to forgive and turn that frown upside down!
My dearest Jill-I hope this made you smile, and no I did not have too many mimosas after church.
Every time I say the words – only say the Word and my soul shall be healed – I say thank you because whatever it is ihas already been said and done by Him! I too have children who either don’t believe in a Divine power or choose not to practice their faith within the church. And I attend every Mass (except for Christmas when one son attends with me) alone. And it was the actions of some in the church who have contributed to this situation – the very ones who should have been witnesses of faith to my sons were the exact opposite. I take comfort knowing that my God loves my boys with a love greater than my own and is always reaching out to those whom He loves. He will never give up on my boys. I also know that their journey of faith is theirs to find as mine is for me to find. All we can do is hold our children with great Love.