Big Girl is the only Catholic on her sports teams. Most of the kids play most of the sports offered (soccer, basketball, and baseball/T-ball), and the teams tend to be the same children again and again. It's really very nice because the children get to know each other and form excellent friendships.
There is a family whose children play on the same team as Big Girl, and their mother and I often will talk during practices. We talk about family, news events, politics, and faith. (It's kind of like blogging! LOL!) I learned more than a year ago that this lovely lady and her husband are fallen-away Catholics. I occasionally say a prayer for them, but their love of the Lord is quite obvious. Mostly, the only thing I feel sad about is that they were unable to find such joy within the Church. But there isn't a bad thing I could possibly say about the family. After raising their "own kids," this woman and her husband have gone on to adopt four more children. And they are just so sweet, all of them!
But I do feel a little sad that they aren't Catholic any more. I always feel sad when I hear someone left the Church for any reason.
Well, I know that during practice, I can't usually do anything too intricate because I'll wind up talking a lot with my friend. So I sometimes bring my Rosary kit and make Rosaries for the missions. (This is an interesting thing to do around all the Evangelical kids whose older siblings are practicing because then I can give them a simple, yet correct, explanation of what the Rosary is for. Some of them help me string the beads, and I occasionally wonder what their mothers would think of that!) We talked a great deal one week about her youth and growing up Catholic. She was quite devout at one time, and her husband is actually a convert ("It didn't take," she said of it). A couple of weeks later, her youngest was helping me string Rosaries as we chatted about different things regarding faith. I have, all this time, been just myself. I don't hide that I'm Catholic, to be sure, but I'm also not very in-your-face. Wearing my Rosary shirt ("Have You Talked to Your Mother Today?" with the Scriptural references for the Hail Mary) is about as close as I get to that. But it's pretty obvious that I really love being Catholic.
At one point during this conversation, she said, "You know, I like talking to you. You remind me of my childhood and all the good things about being Catholic."
It completely made my week. One of the best things anyone has ever said to me.
But the glory for that belongs firmly in the Hands of our Lord. Without His guidance and His grace, I would never been any kind of example - or even a very happy Catholic. Without His mercy, I would be a grumbler about all the things I see wrong. Instead, I've been allowed to have a little of God's light shine through me. Just a little. I'm honored and blessed to have it so.
Thank You, God, for Your mercy and grace and goodness! Thank You for allowing me to be a little light in Your Kingdom!