When I was little I would watch my Dad tip his hat every time we went by a church. His small gesture stayed with me as I saw him witness his faith in such a sweet and polite way.
And as I look back on life I realize that it is the little things that do mean a lot. All of us can probably recall when someone let us go ahead in line at the grocery store. And, we also can remember when someone cut us off in a parking lot and took our spot.
The quiet, good example of people stays with us. My family has had the privilege of encountering Bishop Joseph Maguire several times. His genuine goodness has shone through during those experiences. When my children were very little he met them once and gave them each a dollar to spend on stickers at the old Johnson’s Bookstore in downtown Springfield.Certainly, that is a little thing, but they still remember it.
Recently, I interview Bishop Maguire and he spoke about his home parish of St. Columbkille in Brighton. My son, Matthew, lives in Brighton and showed me the bishop’s boyhood church. He even took photos of it that we gave to Bishop Maguire and that I used in my story.
Since then, Matthew has told me that sometimes when he rides his bike back from Cambridge to Brighton that he will stop at St. C’s to say a quick prayer. I think it is the example of Bishop Maguire that inspires him. I guess you could say the memory of the stickers stuck. 🙂
And perhaps it was the example of his Grandpa, who tipped his cap at churches, that also stayed with him when he brought my husband, John, and me to a little chapel near St. Elizabeth’s hospital last summer. He thought we would like it and we did.
I guess my point in this entry is that sometimes we think we have to do big or heroic things to witness our faith. And believe me, we need the witness of people like St. Damien who worked with the lepers. (He was just canonized Oct.11.)
However, sometimes it is just with the tip of a cap.
Oh and after posting how much I liked the Chrissa book by Mary Casanova I found her on the web and wrote to her. I received a gracious and personal reply. It was another little thing that made this world a tiny bit better.