My parents are atheists so there was no religion in our home. They never tried to prejudice us against religion, they just never talked of it. It was kind of like talking about sex … it was the unspoken rule that you just didn’t mention religion. As issues came up, we were taught to be good people in the morality of popular culture … work hard and do your best, be honest, don’t steal, cheat or lie. We learned that a lot of other issues were all relative. As long as you didn’t hurt other people or break the law what you did was your own business. Of course, even though they never talked about it, we all knew that those boring church-goers were weak because they needed a crutch like religion to get by.
During our early married life neither Tom or I gave God much thought. We were just living our lives. And then God used what we cared about most to get our attention.
Hannah had a terrible teacher in public school and nothing we tried solved the problem so halfway through kindergarten we switched her to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School. Her religion teacher asked all the kids who went to Mass every Sunday. Almost all the kids raised their hands. Hannah didn’t. Mrs. McDaniel told those children that they needed to go home and tell their parents that they should be going to Mass every week. Dutifully Hannah passed the message. There is no one for knowing black from white and “yes” from “no” like a kindergartener. She didn’t buy our feeble excuses and started quoting her religion lessons to us. Pretty soon we were attending weekly Mass at St. Thomas.
Tom is Catholic but he hadn’t attended church in a long time. I wasn’t even sure if there was a God. How are you ever really sure? Most of the “proof” anyone ever offered seemed an awful lot like coincidence to me. But, I couldn’t sit there week after week listening to Father B. without starting to wonder … is there a God or not?
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