Keeping the Faith

Patricia and Carlos Reyes with five of their six children

Attending daily Mass keeps me grounded. I’m committed to this sacrifice because the challenges of our world are more than overwhelming. We must remain diligent in our prayers; the Devil is loose and is making havoc of all that we hold dear.

The Reyes Family

Carlos and Patricia Reyes and their family are great witnesses in my walk. For months I have sat a safe distance behind them at daily Mass. They are a family of eight, and are obviously noticeable because of the size of their clan but also because their faithfulness. Because of all the outdoor Masses we have become a community by standing the test during these days of uncertainty. I look forward to seeing the familiar faces who want to remain at peace.

The Reyes family takes a lot of time during  “the sign of peace” segment of the Mass. They kiss each other on both sides of the cheeks; the masks are moved down off their faces as they gently complete this spiritual ritual. In my heart they have become the preachers of the Word without saying a word. This is a special type of ministry that has remained firm.

Other than handing out communion to this family, I had never spoken to them until this past Friday. I asked if I could take their picture. Carlos, the patriarch, shared with me that he and his wife Patricia have six children, three boys and three girls. This couple, with the help of God, are raising remarkable citizens.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,

    and the glory of children is their parents.

Raising Holy Children

If you want your children to serve God, you must set the example. A single parent cannot use the excuse that two parents are needed. If you do not introduce your children to God at a young age, they will not understand their purpose in life. A family must be grounded in God to live holy a life in this day and age. We are all created to serve one God and, until we find our way, we are lost in a world of defective teachers. We are experiencing this in our public education with the introduction of matters that no children should be subjected to. A well-grounded child will developed the discernment to know what is truth and walk away from lies. It is up to us as parents to establish a strong relationship with God in order to give our children a fighting chance.

I knew all along when our children were small that God had to be an intricate part of their lives. Mike was busy establishing our business, so it was left to me. Many times I felt overwhelmed, but I never gave up. Mike was supportive of most of the decisions I made during this time, but when I left the Catholic Church for a season Mike fell through the cracks of the Protestant churches I attended. Only after I returned to the Catholic faith did he finally commit to attending Mass with me on a regular basis.

No Excuses

We cannot allow the Enemy to draw us away from our calling. No church is perfect. The Catholic Church has had many challenges these past years, but I choose to remain a Catholic. I will not allow the sins of men  to take my core beliefs from me . Not even the Pope, with all his misguided opinions, will affect the Catholic doctrine that I hold true to my heart.

As a grandparent my role is subdued, but my prayers for our grandchildren are like fire to the ears of God. I hold back nothing when it comes to my family; they are saturated in prayer. This is one of the main reasons I attend Mass on a regular basis. Spiritually I cannot put anything in the way of serving God. When a family member is spiritually wounded, it breaks my spirit too. This is when I cry out to God without ceasing. God hears the cries of a parent. When your children are small, it’s much easier to comfort them. When they get older, and do not understand who God is, this is when you realize you’ve dropped the ball in introducing them to God at a young age. The beauty in this scenario is that it is never too late to fix this problem. We serve a God Who allows us special graces to come to Him with all of our burdens. My advice to parents: Become that godly example to your children, and they will honor you.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;  to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears
Mike’s COVID 19 birthday celebration: Wil, Mike, Sonja, Jacob, Lucas, and Maddie

  .

2019 Birthday
Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Norbert Catholic Church

The Birthday

As a family Mike and I attend Mass together. We are a couple who will do whatever it takes to keep peace in our family. We celebrated another COVID-19  birthday at home. Mike shares his birthday with Our Lady of Guadalupe, which makes this day a little more special. We had reservations at Ruth Chris, but, like everything else in life, they were cancelled. We stuck to the Ruth Chris menu and had the best steaks. Jenny, our daughter-in-law, nailed the chopped salad and sweet potatoes; they were delicious. We honor Mike because he is a great example to us as a father, grandfather and husband. His co-workers honored him with a birthday cake and a gift basket. He’s a special guy!

My Prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank You for our families. Our children are a gift from You, Lord, and we entrust them into Your hands. Teach us to always do right by them, and help us to guide them to serve You. Lord, I lift up those who have lost their battle with COVID-19. Comfort the hearts of their families and give them peace. We continue to pray for those who are battling this pandemic. Heal them Lord. Amen.

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,

    and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord rescues them from them all.

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