It’s the Easter weekend and one of my favourite times of year. I’m sure we all have memories of Easter growing up. And for some of my readers there are fond memories that include going with the family to Church but it just doesn’t happen right now. Maybe they’ve not made time for Church, gotten too busy raising a family, have good intentions but just don’t get around to it, turned their back on their faith or maybe you’re going to Church but not just getting anything out of it. It’s not relevant to you any more. Maybe you feel as a woman that you can’t participate the way you would like. Maybe you’re angry at God. Maybe it’s your husband who is the church goer and you just don’t understand what it’s all about. And maybe life is so busy and demanding and there is always something else you could be doing.
Recently one of my friends said that we kind of come full circle. Raised in the Church we take it for granted, we go to mass or sunday services while we are growing up but then as an adult we can get busy or lose interest but then when we have our own children and we come back to our faith. And we are searching. She’s right. I receive emails and messages from mums who want to go to Church but it’s been too long or there was something that put them off or they don’t know where to start. And trust me I know that taking your kids to Church can be a big worry and something that is holding you back. But no one is looking at your kids so don’t worry. Once they’ve done a headcount of ours I know that they’re not really looking. Although it feels like the eyes are on me when someone is acting up.
So what’s my advice? It is always just to go. Don’t overthink it. Just find the service times and pack a bag, get dressed and go. Sit there. Soak it up. There is something inside of you that wants to be there and it’s God’s voice. We don’t always want to hear it but it’s there and He is calling us back. And then you’re going to go again the Sunday after that. And the next one. Faith isn’t just about going to church every sunday though. It’s about what you carry in your heart and your mind and how you live your life.
You need to pray, to listen, to read, to have friends you can talk to who can guide you and inspire you and also show you that it’s just a normal part of life. And we need to share it with our children to pass it on to them. They need it more than ever. I also love that the internet and social media can be used for good and help you find the inspiration that you need especially if you’re not finding it in the circle of friends or community that you are a part of. Sometimes you might need to find the right church for you and I don’t mean just shopping around and never finding any you like. Nothing is perfect and I don’t go to my local parish but find one where there are other families, groups that you’d like to join and a sense of community.
I also think reading good books is a wonderful way to find inspiration and help you grow in faith. I love anything from Father James Martin who is a Jesuit priest in New York. He has a way of writing for everyone and is very knowledgeable. I have to thank one of my lovely online friends Theresa for one day messaging to tell me about his books last year. Reading is also a great opportunity to take a break, turn off the tv, put your feet up and fill your mind with something good. A few of my favourites are Jesus A Pilgrimage by Father James Martin SJ, My Sisters The Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell and The Jesuit Guide to Everything : A Spirituality for Real Life.
So I wish you a happy and holy Easter weekend. Enjoy the time to reflect, to recommit to your faith, count your blessings, share the Easter story with your children and be amazed. Every Easter I am amazed and learn something new. I’ll be praying for those of you who want to come back to your faith and that you will give it the time and respect that it needs. If you have advice for my readers or a question then I’d love to hear it.