“God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” Have words more beautiful and more true ever been spoken? Yet how do they reach into hearts that seem lost?
Recently I spoke with a teenager who seemed to have dug himself into a hole of anxiety and self doubt… feelings that seem so accentuated for so many during Covid!
Yet also, what of the age-old pendulum swing in the human heart, between this fear and doubt on one side, and truly sinful pride on the other? How is the chain to be broken?
Toward the end of his life Venerable Patrick Peyton was asked about what he was most grateful for, looking back. Considering his great success and fame in his mission, and in his life, his response is striking. He said he was most grateful for having been born into a Rosary praying family!
Do you understand why he said that?
I want to echo what he said.
I just turned 70 this past Saturday. It’s a bit of a milestone, calling me to look at my life so I took a long hike on a beach not far from here, on Cape Cod. Pondering my life, I’d say that I am also most grateful for having been born into family of faith, of prayer, and of the Rosary; a family where believing meant loving.
My parents, loved by God, loving each other, loving us!
GOD WAS PRESENT AND ALIVE in our home. My mother started praying the Rosary with me while I was a newborn baby!
Prayer in the home, very often the Rosary, talking about God and what our faith means, weekly Mass without question, Catholic Schools - these things all contributed to my upbringing in the faith.
Our family was far from perfect and my journey has had lots and lots of curves in it! My father struggled at times with serious depression. I myself have not been a stranger to loneliness and self-doubt! Still through my imperfect parents and my, at times, limping, yet HOLY, FAMILY, my foundation was solid, knowing I am loved by God.
This is the foundation that breaks the chain and gradually heals the wounds of fear and pride!
Believing, loving, praying: this beautiful passing on of the faith in our imperfect families.
Parents: the most important thing you have to pass to your children is FAITH IN JESUS.
God so loved the world. GOD HAS SO LOVED YOU AND ME.
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About Fr. James Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C. is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and the National Director of
Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years as part of the Family Rosary team, travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!