At the end of September 2013, I began working at the St. Patrick’s Basilica Giftshop and Bookstore. (For those who have never heard of it, it is Ottawa’s Catholic bookstore.)
There are several beautiful things I could tell you about working there, but I will choose one of those which have been moving my heart. Every Sunday I work there from 8:30-1:30pm. The Basilica has four Sunday morning Masses and one evening Mass. Though it is the busier day of the week, it’s is probably the most joyful one. I get the opportunity to witness so many beautiful Catholic families.
It’s so encouraging to see how parents make the domestic church a priority in their lives.
It’s so encouraging to see large Catholic families.
It’s so encouraging to see children looking through children novels on the lives of the saints, and begging their parents to buy it for them.
It’s so encouraging to hear a child recall the biography of a saint whom I don’t know much about (or whom I have never heard about!).
It’s so encouraging to have a child ask whether we have a statue of a particular saint.
It’s so encouraging to have a child pay for a religious article (a crucifix, or medal), from his/her little wallet filled with change.
It’s so encouraging to have a mother ask for blessed oil so that she can continue to bless her child before going to bed.
It’s so encouraging to see a scapular around a child’s neck.
This litany could go on forever. Catholic families are beautiful. It is here, where, among the brokenness of each member, life can be lived to the full. It is here where the Lord can be born, be made known and loved in this “country in shadow dark as death” (Isaiah 9:1).
It is here where the glorious Church, in all her splendour, has her roots.
On this splendid feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I give thanks to the Lord for my own family, especially my parents. I thank the Lord that they made it a priority that our family pray the Rosary, Litany of the Virgin Mary, and a Novena every night since infancy before going to bed (regardless of how tired every one was). I thank the Lord for my grandma who blesses each one of us before leaving the home. I thank the Lord for my mom and dad who also blesses us with the sign of the Cross on our foreheads when I say kiss them good morning and goodnight.
What a great feast to be grateful for the commitments our parents/godparents made for us at our baptism so that we would live according to the Lord’s precepts!