Most of my friends are Catholic. I do have good friends who are not Catholic, but I have found that (probably not coincidentally), as I get older, those I connect with the most are the ones who share my faith.
I have one good friend in particular who came over this week to see my new house for the first time. This woman is one of the most kind-hearted and generous Christians that I know, but she is scared (not sure if that word sums up her feelings) of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know that she is uncomfortable with the religious statues and pictures in our home (she’s not afraid to say this!). I won’t even get started on our framed picture of the Pope! J
Years ago (we became friends when our oldest children were babies), I actually thought about putting my religious icons away when she visited. I was new to hosting (it was my first real home), and I did not want anyone to feel uncomfortable. I’m glad that I did not. I finally reasoned that if my friends were going to like me, then they had to know the real me…just as I had to know the real them!
As it is, when we were selling our home, our realtor strongly recommended that we take down all faith-related decorations. We did, but the house definitely didn’t feel like home without them!
My friend is in the process of selling her house to move to a nearby city. She tells wild, humorous stories about house hunting with her three small children (I’ve been there/done that…very glad to be settled in a new home now!). She mentioned one house that had statues of Mary “everywhere.” She said that she had the spooks by the end because everywhere she turned there was a new image. It’s funny how different we are…I probably would’ve loved that home (even if it wasn’t what I was looking for) because anywhere my mother is, I feel at home!
I laughed at the story when she told it (she concluded that she could never live at that home without feeling like someone was watching her!). But afterward, I started to feel sad for her. I know that everyone is on a different journey home and I certainly don’t judge her, but I do pray that she will come to open up her heart and maybe someday come to know Mary for who she is (especially in times of sorrow, of which this friend has known plenty).
I wrote another story on my blog about the picture above. My 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, often stops and prays at this picture of Mary located in our upstairs hallway. I captured this moment of Gianna praying, and Cecilia (age 3) holding her big sister’s hand and watching/listening intently! I loved watching this moment. I felt so happy to see my daughters praying to their mother. I know that she will always be there for them; and unlike me, she will never let them down!
I know that not everyone feels as happy to see Mary as we do (my kids often point out statues of Mary when we are driving and exclaim: “There she is again!”), but I pray that my house will always be a welcoming home to all people.
Our Mother of Perpetual Help, please help us all. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Trish Bolster