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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Large Catholic Families

On Mother's Day, like many other sons and daughters in the U.S. I visited my Mom. She's always a wonderful host, very sympathetic and a good listener. Earlier in the day it occurred to me: I'm the 6th of 7 children in our family. Although I had 3 of my own, there was never a 4th or 5th much less a 6th. I'm not only glad the folks had a large family, I owe my existence to this fact, it would seem.

My parents sacrificed quite a bit when we were growing up. They also instilled in me a very good work ethic, a desire to excel, a belief in my own potential, worth and abilities, and served as an outstanding role model.

A Mom is a great thing and of course all children to some extent take theirs for granted. I'm glad there is the annual day to celebrate this central figure in my life. I think that the custom of having a large brood was a great thing. My parents did not have to pay extra (at first) to have the kids. They were very fortunate and all were healthy and hearty.

I think both my Mom and my Dad (who passed away 6 years ago) lived an exemplary Catholic life (not to mention, Dad was a deacon). They didn't mention religious specifics that often, but it was rather through their example of what it is to have faith, to live a simple life, to give back, to attend worship, and to have community. I have not yet surpassed these attributes, not by any stretch. This is why they remain such an inspiration to my current endeavors and will for a long time to come.

Oh, and thanks for not stopping at 5! (or I should say 4, since #4 and 5 are twins!). And thank you God for giving me all the years together with Mom. One of her greatest teachings was the independence that a son needs (per Genesis 2:24):

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Father in Heaven, I thank you for my Catholic Family, and most of all for my mother, who remains your faithful servant on earth. May you bless her with continued good health, wisdom, and fortitude. I cherish the time in history which you chose for my birth, and for my existence, which your followers allowed by answering your command to go forth and be fruitful. I thank you for my siblings who are God's people and reflect your love each in their own way. Amen.

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