I think most of us would agree that we’d last four minutes in motherhood without our faith. The many stresses, obligations, responsibilities, and worries are simply too overwhelming to bear without our belief in our all-powerful, all-loving, ever-attentive Father watching over us.
So, from whom did we receive our faith that made our vocation possible, livable, and even joyful? And what should our response be to such an extraordinary gift?
The Catechism of the Catholic Churchencourages us to honor these people in a special way:
For Christians a special gratitude is due to those from whom they have received the gift of faith, the grace of Baptism, and life in the Church. These may include parents, grandparents, other members of the family, pastors, catechists, and other teachers or friends. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you” (2220).
An important way to honor those who gave us such a precious gift is in prayer. A beautiful example of a prayer we can say for older parents and grandparents comes to us from Pope Benedict, who in 2008 composed a universal prayer for grandparents for Ireland’s National Grandparents Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.
Lord Jesus, you were born of the Virgin Mary, the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne. Look with love on grandparents the world over. Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families, for the Church and for all of society. Support them! As they grow older,vmay they continue to be for their families strong pillars of Gospel faith, guardian of noble domestic ideals, living treasuries of sound religious traditions. Make them teachers of wisdom and courage, that they may pass on to future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.
Lord Jesus, help families and society to value the presence and roles of grandparents. May they never be ignored or excluded, but always encounter respect and love.Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living, keep grandparents constantly in your care, accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage, and by your prayers, grant that all families may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland, where you await all humanity for the great embrace of life without end. Amen.
How about you? From whom did you receive your faith and how do you express your thanks to them?