the boys

the boys

Sunday, July 4, 2010

...and let it begin with me

I had someone ask me recently why "this whole religion thing" is so important [to our family]. For me, it centers me. I spend all week rushing around managing, over-managing, and micro-managing everything around me. There isn't much about my job or my home life that is centered in faith. I try to set a good example for the kids, but certainly not as much as I would like. So this "whole religion thing" centers me. Each Sunday I spend time being reminded of where I want to be and who I want to be as a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I want to grow in Christ and be a symbol to others.

I went to church by myself this morning, which is an unusual occurrence for me. I usually spend the majority of Mass dealing with the boys. Don't get me wrong. I really, really love taking the boys to church. It's such a wonderful feeling to have them at church with me. Watching them listen and learn. I've never been a fan of sending them to the nursery during church. How will they learn to listen, participate, and appreciate church if they aren't there? Justin already knows a good bit of the prayers and songs. Even Leo, at just 18 months, knows how to kneel and fold his hands in prayer. Pretty darn cute, really!!

Anyway, I absolutely loved church this morning. Being by myself allowed me time to really pay attention and soak it in. And did I ever!! The music was particularly good today. Songs that I know by heart and that I love. They remind me of my childhood. My mother has played the organ for the church since before I was born so I have a particular fondness for the hymns she has played over the years. Our closing hymn was Let There Be Peace on Earth. The second line to the song is "...and let it begin with me."

So, yes, Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow. To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let their be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

It was the perfect ending to what I found to be a very moving service. Father Mike's homily was great and right on target with what I needed to hear this morning. His overall message, from what I gathered, was to be a good example of God. We all have persons in our lives that have turned away from Christ or who make other choices in their relationship, or lack thereof, with God. The message today was to love those people. Pray for them. Hope that they open their hearts to God and all of His goodness. Hope that they place their lives in God's hands so that He may guide them and see what is important. It's not preachy or at least to me, it's not. It's just simple. Love all and want what is best for those that you love.

Some people probably wouldn't categorize me as a particularly faithful person. That's OK. I certainly do and say my fair share of sinful things. So, I must remind myself. Let peace begin with me. As Father said this morning: Live out the values of our faith in ALL times. Not just the hard times in which I am struggling or ill or down. But also in the good times. God's message, peace, hope, and love is enough. I will try to be faithful in following God. I will follow the values of my faith.

Let peace begin with me.


  1. I love that song and what it means. Your post choked me up a little. I read it last night and it set me thinking.

    I was raised Catholic in a part of Missouri where there are very few Catholics. To give you an idea, my graduating class was about 170 people. I think there were 3 other kids in my graduating class who were Catholic, and maybe 6 other Catholic families in the entire school system. I have only gone to church a handful of times since leaving home for college, but I am so grateful for that solid religious and spiritual foundation my family gave me, and I am protective of the faith of my childhood. Even today, my mother and one of my sisters, and much of my partner's family are Catholic.

    When I hear one of the songs from that childhood in church, it takes me back. While as I said before, I don't go to church anymore, I do believe in God and I believe in the strength and power of love; it's all around us. I have felt God's loving hand on my shoulder in times of crisis or loss, and have given thanks in moments of joy. I know I'm rambling, but with "Let peace begin with me" echoing in my head now, your post really started me thinking. Thanks for that.

  2. wondeful Liz. Just what I was hoping for in sharing this with others!!! You are always welcome to join me at Mass....I'll let you look after the kids while I pay attention...or vice versa :)

    I have been saying to myself for the past 5 days "let it begin with me" and it is really making a difference. The other song they played that actually brought me to tears during mass was Be Not Afraid. I've been playing it in my car all week. A wonderful song!!! Wonder if I can get Let there be peace on Earth for my ring tone. Might make me more peaceful during the day. I'm gonna say it everytime the bad printer goes off :)

  3. thanks so much! have a great week :)