“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy,” According to “A Pilgrims
Almanac”, by Edward Hays, this bit of folk wisdom reminds us of what we easily
forget – that our parents, and especially our mothers, are the arch-teachers of
our religious values. They are the first examples we observe of how to live out
our faith. The daily living of our religious values is not complicated and does
not require a degree in theology. Teaching these faith-based values requires
only great love and self-discipline. Parents, if they are willing to live out
their faith, can be the most inspiring teachers their children will ever have.
An old adage points the way, “Good students study their text. Truly good
students study their teacher.” Each of us is a teacher, and we teach our best
lessons when we are not talking or attempting to teach; when we are unaware that
anyone is studying us. Abraham Lincoln said, “There is just one way to bring up
a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel that way yourself.”
I recall clearly the moment when I realized I had grown up cultivating
the faith of my mother. She was the one who made sure we were ready for Sunday
services and met all of our obligations set by our faith tradition As I grew
up, I adopted many of her prayer practices; the rosary, novenas and a similar
basket filled with favorite prayer booklets and holy cards. As a spiritual
adult I am blessed to now have ownership of my faith. It is no longer the faith
handed down to me by my parents, especially my mother. It’s my own faith. I
share it with my family and teach it mostly by example. My prayer is that my
children will one day say, the faith of their mother is now their own.
What is the source of your faith? Ponder its origins.