I have a son who is graduating high school this year, and the walk down memory lane that we do at each of these milestones has me revisiting our faith journey along that path.
This child’s journey has taken us on an unexpected trip to many hospitals and surgeries, down into many valleys and to the top of many beautiful mountains. As I walked through the years of so many memories, I noticed a thread that wove itself through it all.
Faith was an anchor. As I pondered that realization in gratitude, I wondered how my faith has stayed constant in the face of such tumult.
Over the past year or so I have started making sourdough bread for my family. To make the bread, you keep a “starter” consisting of fermented flour and water in your fridge and feed it every day to keep it fresh. It doesn’t take long, and often it grows so much you have to share it with others.
I love this metaphor for growing our faith. A solid faith life consists first of a strong relationship with the Lord. When we think of the best relationships in our lives, they are the ones that we invest in. In fact, we long to be with that person because we so enjoy their company. But that comes only from taking the time to feed the relationship.
Over my bread making journey, I have had “starters” that thrive under my daily attention and ones that wither when I grow complacent. And so, it has been with my faith journey.
The bishops of our country have called for a Eucharistic Revival within the Catholic Church, and I’m pondering if that revival doesn’t start first in our homes. The Oxford dictionary defines revival as “an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again.”
Looking through the parenting memories there is a longing to return to those early days of instruction and introduction to Who Jesus is, a constant companion, someone Who loves us so dearly. He is a protector, a generous giver. We teach our children to not only see but also to have watchful hearts for Him working in their lives.
Sadly, that zeal and gratitude can grow dim over time. In the midst of running the race of jobs, school, activities and all the relationships that weave into those commitments, Jesus, our constant source of strength, Who is always there, can become taken for granted.
I think this is where revival is needed in my own heart and home, and I’m wondering if it might be the same for yours. If revival is indeed an instance of something becoming important again, then perhaps this call to action from our bishops is well timed.
A love for the Eucharist can surely come straight from time in His presence, during Mass and at Adoration. I think, however, it first must stem from relationship, and that relationship comes from recognizing His constant presence in our lives.
When I have become distant in a friendship that brought me such joy, I must have enough humility to own up to my human nature and speak truth into the goodness of that relationship. I ask for mercy and understanding, and we begin again.
God hasn’t ever left us. He loves us when we sweep the front doorway of our hearts clean for Him to be welcomed, and He stands at the door in times when we grow complacent and let dust gather. He is ever constant and patient. We are the ones who grow distracted.
As parents, we are always modeling to our children whether they be young or old. I love the word “starter” for my bread recipe because it references a beginning. Revival necessitates a beginning again.
So let us open our hearts again to the Lord, unpack those sacramentals that are anchors to our faith that we might have replaced with other decorations throughout our homes. Let’s rededicate ourselves to praying a family rosary together. Let’s actively pray for our family members and be active in asking them to pray for us.
The humility of a parent asking their child to pray for them invites discussion and relationship. May these efforts stir in our hearts and homes a revival for the love of the Eucharist so that when we approach Him in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, a new reverence for the wonder of His friendship may dwell within our hearts.
This article first appeared at the ColumbusCatholicTimes.org