Enough learning. It’s time to live my faith.
What do the words ‘My Family, My Faith’ mean to me? I’m very blessed that I have two families. Firstly I have my husband of 44 years, four adult children and the 15 beautiful grandchildren they have given us, and even though I’m only 64, two great-grandchildren! But, truthfully, sometimes I find myself alone in my faith when with them.
I can see their viewpoints, but don’t often agree. Instead my faith is enlivened and enriched when I’m able to converse with my other family – my church faith community. I’m fortunate to be a member of a Bereavement Support Team and I meet with a few friends on a monthly basis for prayer and a cuppa.
A priest once told me that prayer alone is not enough, that we need to show Jesus’ compassion and be his hands and feet in this world. Word without work is worthless, he said and I had to agree with him. A need was identified and so the Bereavement Team was formed. We have held nine annual Candlelight Memorial Services, starting in the Parish Room with about 12 people but now having to move to the church to cater for 80-plus people. People with tears in their eyes tell us how moving the ceremony is and how grateful they are to have the opportunity to light a candle and write the names of their loved deceased in a Memorial Book. Team representatives, even though there are only eight of us, attend every funeral held in our parish and within four weeks a phone call is made to the family with house visits where necessary. An Easter Card is sent to bereaved families as well as first anniversary cards.
So this is how I live my faith now! After spending years reading a variety of theological books, attending talks, taking part in an 18-month Archdiocesan Course, studying one Unit on Living Religions through university and praying with my prayer book, one day I said enough learning! Now to live it! It’s not easy because I am a shy person by nature and struggle in group conversations. Sometimes the doing is much more difficult than the learning. But it’s my faith in Jesus and my personal relationship with him that keeps me going!