Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Be Ashamed of Your Mother

I love Jennifer Fulwiler.  She's a fellow Catholic blogger (albeit with a much larger audience than my own), an atheist convert, and a very smart lady.  In a post she made at the National Catholic Register, she admitted that she and her husband feel awkward praying in public.  Some people who commented on her post admitted that they, too, feel awkward praying in public and some admit that they feel awkward making the sign of the cross in front of Protestants.

My advice to them is simple: Don't ever be ashamed of your mother. The Catholic Church is your mother, don't be ashamed of her. Don't hide the signs that you are her son or her daughter. Don't feel any more awkward talking about the Church than you would talking about your biological mother. The same goes for Mary. She is the symbol of the Church in a very profound way. She was Christ's mother and, since you are now a member of the body of Christ, she is your mother too. Don't hide her or tuck her away.  Be proud of her, be grateful for the adoption that made you hers.

When I was 27, God gave me a special dream.  In that dream, I was walking toward the First Baptist Church in Denton.  I attended preschool and kindergarten there, and I also spent many summers in their day camp.  I wasn't headed there, I was actually headed somewhere else but I decided to take a short cut and walk across their parking lot to get where I was going.

As I approached the sidewalk, I saw a group of six men standing and praying.  My husband's best friend of the time, Brian, was in that group of men. I heard them say, "The next one to come along will make it seven and then we'll be ready".  I didn't know what they meant by that, but as I started to pass by one of the men put his hands on me, and the group anointed me.  Then the 7 of us went into the CLC (Christian Life Center) where we were to be teachers of the children inside.  Before we began teaching, though, the leader of the group suggested that we all pray for the Father's guidance. I began to take out my rosary, but when I thought about the fact that the men in this group were all Protestant, I hesitated and eventually put my rosary back down.  I was afraid they wouldn't understand and that I would be asked to leave the group.

I woke from that dream with lesson plans in my head and a message from God ringing in my ears. I was instructed to "Teach my children how much I love them". That dream contained another message to me, though, and one that I have carried with me to this day.  That message was not to be ashamed of my mother. I was never to hide my rosary, or my faith, from anyone.  That pearl of great price was not to be sold short for any reason, and especially not for the esteem of any human being no matter how tempting the offer. So, I pass this message on to you. Don't be ashamed of your mother. She's a gift to you, worth defending at any cost.

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