After my Father had passed, my Mother’s friends came by one day and handed us a brown paper bag. In it, were containers of rosary-necklaces, there was many and all of them were one of 3 different styles and sizes. My mother showed me the contents of the bag and spread out the Rosaries allowing me to see each of them in detail.
“Take whatever you want.” She says to me. and I reached down and grabbed a single container, and added to my collection of Rosaries. This is what I’ve chosen:
To this day, in my possession, I have a total of four Rosaries that I pray with:
- The large dark colored Rosary, my first Rosary ever, given to me by a friend when I was in my Youth Group, I pray with this Rosary, everyday.
- The Wooden Rosary, given to me by another friend some time after the first, while I was still in my Youth Group. I was told it was made by Nuns in Jerusalem, I pray with it every Sunday.
- The small Mini-Rosary, with clear blue-green beads, given to me by my Hermanita. I pray with it, whenever I’m away from home, yet I carry it with me everywhere I go.
- And finally, I have the White and Silver Rosary Necklace, as seen above, I only pray with this on September 3rd and November 10th, the days of my Father’s Death and Birth, respectively.
Faith. My Father was always certain about faith, He always made sure we went to the Mass every week, and usually we go on Saturdays (which make people scratch their heads, oddly enough) yet if we were preoccupied on Saturday, then he’d make sure we go on Sundays, and in extreme cases, we’d watch the Mass on TV. We always prayed before eating as well as whenever we go on the Freeway or on long journeys, we’d pray for everyone in a small prayer.
And we’d always do the little Catholic rituals that was tied with our heritage, Christmas time would have us carrying the Baby Jesus around the house, while singing him to sleep, obviously saying grace before the Holiday dinners.
And from him, I’ve learned to maintain a solid foundation of Faith. Although my Faith is mainly credited to my Mother, I saw my Father live his life in doing what he thinks is right under the eyes of God. Although I never saw him pray without the family present, I saw traces of what religious activities he’s done when alone. During the times when he had to spend 2-3 days at work, He had a CD player, and the only CD’s he had in the van was the audio Bible, there was a magnetic lil crucifix on his dashboard, and he always wore a Scapular underneath his shirt. In his wallet there was various religious objects such as saints medals and crucifixes.
I never had a religious conversation with my father, yet from him, I saw that one’s religion was a personal path. Although the Gospel should be preached wherever one goes in life, the bond between one and God was always private, and only for the parties involved, never a show to be seen by others. I remember there’s a passage that says, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” – Matthew 6:6.
I realize now that my Father embodied that passage. And it’s really true, to the extent when it was only on rare occasions that I ever saw him say a prayer either before going to work, or before leaving to go somewhere. Granted one can share one’s faith with others, yet, it’s your faith, your ties with God, that will always remain. Everyone has to stand before God and be judged on the life they have lived, there will be no one else standing beside them, no space between Judge and the Judged.
I suppose I developed that from him, however that’s a bit hard to argue since I’ve been praying in solitude sometime before I saw him pray in solitude. Then again, as his son, ideals and mannerisms can be passed down genetically.
In either case, I’m glad to say that my Father was a good Catholic man, and as such, it gives me great relief to know where we all go whenever we’re good on this mortal coil. I will pray for him.