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Some years back we were vacationing in Myrtle Beach.
My youngest son was just seven years old at the time.
The day was beginning when we sat down to read a chapter in his CCD book.
During my own childhood, the most I witnessed of CCD were the kids racing to the classrooms after Sunday Mass. I got to head home for my mom’s traditional pancake breakfast. After all, I spent the entire week immersed in plaid uniforms and Catholic education.
And I won’t deny I second guessed this decision more than once.
I remember one day at daily mass watching the elementary school children file row by row into the church. Their uniforms neatly pressed and tucked.
My friend ‘Lucy’ sat beside me. Also, a Catholic school girl, we were entranced as we watched this familiar choreographed procession. When the kids were seated we both turned to one another with the exact same thoughts. “Did we make the right decision? Would our children have the same devotion to the Catholic faith we have?”
Would having just one day a week to absorb the entirety of our faith be enough?
That early morning in Myrtle Beach my little guy and I read the whole chapter and turned to the homework in the back of the book.
We answered several questions when we came upon one which was somewhat vague in nature, at least to a seven-year-old little boy. Or should I say, to his grown mother? Because in hindsight, he knew the correct answer immediately.
The question and I paraphrase was “How do we pray to God?”
“I want a hole in one,” says my son.
He is obviously thinking of the putt-putt golf excursion we have planned that evening so I try and redirect.
“No, honey that isn’t what the question is asking. You aren’t asking God for something it’s asking you how do you pray to God?”
I spend a few more minutes trying different explanations to no avail.
“I want a hole in one,” says my son yet again.
I decide it’s time to call it a morning. Either the question isn’t precise enough for him to completely understand or I am not the best substitute CCD teacher.
We spend the rest of the day out and about and eventually make our way to play golf. All three of my boys are laughing and having fun.
We get ready for our final move of the course.
It’s not an easy hole.
It’s down a slope and about two to three yards long.
We all take a shot at it and miss and then my youngest son steps up.
Our mouths hang open with complete shock.
There in front of our eyes, my little guy’s white golf ball plops perfectly into the hole.
The rest of us shout in amazement.
Did you see that? Can you believe it? How is that possible?
My youngest is quiet. There are no screams of joy or jumps into the air.
“I can’t believe you just made that hole in one,” I say.
“I asked God for it,” he confidently replies.
A content smile now covering his cute little mug.
I am speechless.
I have no memory of our morning conversation – until he utters those words.
My youngest son brazenly leads the way to our car.
We all file into the seats and silence fills the air while we digest what has truly happened.
That day I learned three things about being a Catholic.
Not to tell my son how to pray – I am pretty sure God was clearing that up for me.
That faith isn’t based on a few days in a classroom – it’s much deeper than that.
And if you pray boldly it’s another way of saying you pray with devout belief.
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