Today was a very special day. I went to the funeral for a woman who made a significant impact on my life as a Catholic wife and mother. Today I was flooded with memories of where and how my faith journey has grown since that first day when I joined a Mother's Bible Study with Peg in 1989. All I could think today - was that her legacy lives on through all the people's lives she touched.
I think it is entirely appropriate and fitting that this blog, devoted to sharing my personal faith journey, family life, and homeschooling wisdom is being initiated with a post in memory of the person who helped me, more than anyone else in my life, to build a firm foundation in my Catholic faith. So in honor of you Peg, this blog is dedicated to you. I am who I am, as a faithful Catholic, because God gifted me with you, your commitment, your love, your faith, your hope, your insight, and your wisdom.
I am a cradle Catholic. When I started going to the Mother's Bible Study led by Peg, I was at a point in my life where I had always acknowledged there was a God, and that there was an "ultimate Good," but I had never seriously considered what happens in the unseen spiritual realm, nor had I truly recognized the "ultimate Bad" until I read the books by Frank Peretti: This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. Thanks to Peg's words of wisdom, I was able to protect myself while reading these books by blessing myself with the sacramental use of the sign of the cross whenever I felt uncomfortable or fearful with what I was reading. As noted at Catholic Culture, "during trials and temptations our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross." These books came at a life-turning point in my spirituality, when I was beginning to acknowledge the whole truth of what happens, both visible and invisible, in the our world.
I was also beginning, through the grace of the reflections on the Sunday readings and weekly discussions in Bible Study, to own for myself, the Fullness of the Truth, which only the Catholic faith has to offer. Shortly before I began attending the Mother's Bible Study I was at the home of a Mormon, giving a home party with House of Lloyd: Christmas Around the World. As often happened, I was visiting with the hostess after the party, and we wandered into a three-hour discussion about religious beliefs. I left that home praying with discernment and asking God whether I should read the Book of Mormon as the woman had suggested. God's voice spoke to my heart and confirmed that I should not read the Book of Mormon, but confirmed that I did need to learn more about my own Catholic faith. I will be sharing many more stories and experiences from my Bible Study days in posts to come.
Thank you God, for giving us Peg.
(Point of Interest: Peg's funeral was on the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist)