When I was a little girl, living in a small town in Nova Scotia, I considered myself quite content and happy. I had terrific parents who loved me; I had 7 brothers who, though often annoying, were still my heroes for the most part. I had an older sister who doted on me and two little sisters whom I cherished as they amused and often entertained me. My youngest brother was like a real life doll to me and all my sisters. We absolutely adored that darling little fella and you know to this day, we still do. I remember my mom scolding us for kissing him too much but I think all our attention and hugs and kisses helped make him a really terrific man! (He is actually single, ladies so if you are interested…..ha ha ha Kidding)
We grew up as devout Roman Catholics, attending Mass every Sunday, going to a Catholic school and I still get the warm fuzzies when I recall our evening prayer ritual. I’m sure you will have already done the Math and noted that there were 13 of us in our home. Add to that large assembly the many neighborhood children and friends who naturally gravitated to our home and pretty well every evening we were quite a crowd. After dinner was cleared up or I should say the dishes were cleaned since with all of us there wasn’t ever a morsel of food left, my Dad would give a shout-out for prayer time. If we were outside playing baseball or a game of Red Rover, or chasing each other through the trees, we all heard the call and came scampering back home. Those who were in the household stopped wherever they were and whatever they were doing, and we all got to our knees and it began. My dad would walk along the hallway above the open staircase and would lead the prayers: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name……” from every corner of the household, could be heard voices from the very young to teens to the young adults, we would reverently respond: “Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us…..”
We could have easily stayed outside saying later we didn’t hear the call and I do not remember ever be scolded into praying. We were Catholic and we were happy to do this. Our parents instilled it in our hearts and though today I do not ‘recite’ prayers per se, I place high value on daily prayer. I believe in real life communication with our Almighty God. I thank my parents that not only did they teach us to pray together but they taught us to love….I mean, REALLY love the God who created us.
One day when I was about 10 years old, I told my father that I wished so much I could be a Protestant. He was surprised but gently asked me why. I said because all the Protestants I knew were rich and had lots of toys. I have to smile still at this memory. You see, it was evident to me at that tender age that in our town all Catholics had very large familes….which equaled less money to spend on fun things. Well Dad and Mom then told me that we were actually one of the richest families in our whole town….because we had one of the largest families. They told me that God blessed them with far more riches with so many of us children. Do you know that I really believed them? And I kind of still do….