I grew up a cradle Catholic to a family of loving parents, like-minded siblings, and a puppy. Some of my earliest childhood memories go back to church on Sundays. Whether I was eating Cheerios out of a Ziploc bag, playing the kneeler like I was the pianist, or singing “Lasagna” instead of “Hosanna”; my parents taught me how important the tradition of church was to a life filled with love and happiness.
When we are young it’s so easy to rest in solace with our faith, which by default is our parents faith. It’s such an innocent faith that we live by. When I was younger I would keep a variety of diaries that I would serve as a friend. “Dear Diary, today was a good day, I went to school and we went to Mass, I came home and played kickball we said our prayers, thank you Jesus today was a good day.” So short and sweet were my entries rooted in prayer and thanksgiving. It’s easy to see how simply we saw life as kids, we loved life because Jesus gave us it, we loved church because it gave our lives stability.
As we grow up we begin to see where the distractions that leave unanswered questions in our faith. Sometimes those questions arise from our friends, the TV shows we watched, the crime we saw everyday, or the tragedies of the world. We leave our innocent eyes behind and we start to understand that despite love and adoration, there are outside forces that create circumstances where we must choose faith. I am so grateful for my family and my Catholic upbringing because I don’t believe I would be where I am in my faith today hadn’t they been there to keep my feet level on the path. Even when I was blinded, or strayed from the path, they had shown me the way when I was young which made finding that path again, much easier.
The reading today speaks to the innocence of our prayer life when we are younger, our willingness to “seek wisdom through prayer”. Wisdom and faith personified in the reading as “her” follows the short narrative of a life rooted in faith. A life that stood firm in devotion, but was still met with obstacles. A life which, despite trials, praised faith and from which it profited. Much like the life of a young Catholic child raised with faith as a stronghold but who stood tests, with which the success of overcoming, would result in an undeniable love for [she] which carried them through.
As we near the end of the reading we see the author express their praise for the guidance the faith has provided them. The author states:
I became resolutely devoted to her—
the good I persistently strove for.
My soul was tormented in seeking her,
My hand opened her gate
and I came to know her secrets.
I directed my soul to her,
and in cleanness I attained to her.
Although in this case the author speaks of “her” as faith (or the Holy Spirit). These words are what I imagine true love being like. Whether you are married, or in love about to be married, or single and awaiting your husband these words fill us with a protective truth. They describe the most intricate segments of our mind and our being that allow love to be such a powerful circumstance, one that should never be taken for granted or misused.
Today’s reading, in its dynamic nature is the perfect testimony of this enigma that we often refer to as the journey of life. More than just describing the journey, it translates the foreign language that we tend to believe faith is. We forget that she is present in every movement. It reminds us that despite trials, she will pull us through. It gives us a reason to praise the joy she gives us. It speaks to the love we feel for her [faith], which is, in its purest form, God.