Tomorrow will be the second year that Mom's birthday has come around since she died. In remembrance, Ed wrote the following piece, originally titled "Reflections on Mom and Prayer."
My morning my thoughts go to you Father in heaven. As I lay in bed I think of how my mother used to ask me, if I thought it was okay to pray while laying in bed, instead of kneeling.
She grew up in the catholic faith where kneeling is important when you pray. I still remember attending High Mass when it was in said Latin, the smell of incense, tall white candles illuminating the church of a small mission church, the Priest singing of the Liturgy. In the pews there were laminated cards with the peoples responses printed on them in a foreign tongue. There was the continual rising to stand, kneeling to pray and sitting to listen, dipping of fingers in holy water, the signing of the cross in reverence, the little gold tabernacle on the alter, where the communion hosts were securely kept, along with the chalice and wine. It all reinforced the holiness of God.
From this environment we form our impression of who God is, of what pleases or is acceptable to Him, it’s difficult to break religious habits. Especially from teachings which emphasizes how unhappy God is with you,(though he loves you) how you must do better before God will accept you. But when you are nearing ninety and need a walker to stand, I am certain God is not angry with you, if He is then I would want nothing to do with Him.
If this concept of God were true then they would have to rewrite the scriptures. Put in stories where Jesus is indignant, knocking over old people with their walkers who would not bow to him. Telling the hungry to bring him more food and wine when he stayed in their homes. He probably would not have even stayed in the modest homes of people, demanding they put him up in luxurious palace. He was too important, too holy, to be treated as a commoner. Teaching them they were all miserable sinners and were lucky God did not destroy them, but he would intercede for them, for a price. This would be the gospel of bad news. Gratefully this is the antithesis of God’s nature.
My mother would lie in bed, and talk to God, this was her purest form of prayer. Oh she would say the rosary, or recite the prayers of the saints she had memorized from the back of little cards but these were more of a formality. To just talk, ask questions and struggle to reason, why life was so difficult, so unfair this was her purest form of prayer. She used to tell me that she did not see the need to go to confession, to be forgiven. That she could just lift up her head and look into the blue heaven above her, as she stood outside, hanging laundry, ask for forgiveness and pray for strength.
This is a women who lived the hard times. She was never able to rise out of the devastating consequences of others, though she endured them with faith and tenacity. She lived for others, a woman, who in the realm of her world did amazing things. If she was on the nation stage, she would receive honor and adulations. But her acknowledgements were a bag of groceries showing up on the door step, or someone paying her electric or heating bill. There is a greatness of character that surpasses fame, this is the quality my mother possessed. Who lived her life with sacrifice, endurance, patience and acceptance motivated by love and devotion, to her family and God.
She no longer needs a walker, she has passed the test, heard the words said, well-done good and faithful servant. She is having tea or in my mothers case, a hot cup of coffee, with the widow who gave her last mite.
Mom, thank you for your example, for your prayers, for your, sacrifice devotion and love.