Faith in God!
Life is tough! Very few people on earth have it easy. There are many trials in life; like a ship crossing an ocean: one day it is calm and peaceful, there’s are births, parties, graduations, marriages, a new job, a new home, etc.; then there are the stormy days when the ship seems to want to sink: sickness, death in family, loss of work, business loss, foreclosure of home, etc. It’s a fact that most people who have Faith in God struggle through the stormy times, hanging on to the Rudder (God) until they come to the calm seas again; while some others who don’t believe in a loving, caring , personal God jump overboard by turning to drugs, alcohol, depression, insanity, suicide, to name a few. It is important to pray for your children that they have Faith and that you teach them to believe in God and how to pray. As an old famous priest used to say: "The family that prays together, stays together!" That could also mean staying in your right mind and never giving up to despair; always having hope that things will get better with the grace of God!
I always wanted to open a Religious Articles store, selling different kinds of inexpensive Rosaries, chaplets & books. I would also sell albs, stoles, and dalmatics at the best price around. Another reason to open this kind of store would be to evangelize and spread the Gospel Message to those who would stop in and inquire about what we were selling. I would also have a large screen video player where I would show religious movies and documentaries for free, maybe even adding some refreshements for the people who stay to watch. Of course this is all a dream, cause 1. I’m getting too old now & 2. I don’t have any money to invest in a project this big. Fiat voluntas tua; nothing is impossible for God!
A man named Doug Stringer’s wrote a book titled "Who’s Your Daddy Now", and now he’s hosting a cable TV show by the same name. It got me to thinking: My father died when I was about 5 years old. He got TB and wasted away in a TB Hospital in New York. This was around the early 1940’s. The last time I saw him was when Mom took us three kids (brother Joey and sister Barbara) to the hospital parking lot and dad waved to us from a high balcony. Of course we were not allowed into the hospital because of the quarantine. We were not allowed to even go to the funeral, so there was no closure too.
So I grew up without a father and because I was the oldest I became the man of the house. That meant I had to go to work at an early age, which I did, to help support the family. I had a lot of small jobs, like being a delivery boy or clean-up boy, but the best one was delivering Western Union telegrams on my bicycle. I made about $30 a week with tips and that was a lot of money in those days. Unfortunately, it didn’t last because I came down with Rheumatic Fever and was hospitalized for many months until I was healthy again. Actually, I almost died. I had 107 degree temperature and placed in an Oxygen tent. Doctors told my Mom that I might not make it.
Well, here’s where the Father in heaven comes in. I’m talking about Father God! He had other plans for me. He was not going to take me yet! He wanted me to do some things in this life before I went to be with Him in heaven.
So, who was my Daddy then and even now? God the Father! God the Son! God the Holy Spirit! It took me many years to recognize this and to understand in my limited way that my Father in Heaven are the Three Divine Persons; the Father who created me and gives me all the graces I need to live in this mortal life and continually takes care of me and my loved ones. The Son (Jesus), who loves me, and gives Himself to me in the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Spirit, who dwells in me, forgiving me my sins and teaching me how to adore and how to pray!
Yes, I longed for a father but Our Father in Heaven took his place in my life and watched over me with an everlasting love. One day, I will see my father in heaven, (I know he’s there cause mom told me he received the "Last Rites" before he died. Together we will make up for lost time and spend eternity getting to know each other and worshipping the Godhead in joy and bliss!
Thanks for reading this, God love you+
When I was a kid, everybody made fun of my last name, even my teacher. I remember her saying to me in the classroom full of students: "Do you know what a gigolo is?" I was too dumb to know and I squeaked "No . . ." I hated my last name so I started calling myself Johnny Johnson. And that’s what all my friends started calling me too because they never could pronounce my last name anyway.
Of course, as I got older and started going out into the world either working or getting a drivers licence or even when I joined the navy, I had to use my real name. Over the years I finally found out that my last name had some special meanings in Italian. It meant ‘Lily’, the flower. It meant ‘Purity’, like pure of heart. I also found out that their was an Island off the coast of Italy with my last name! How about that! But I still would have liked to be called Johnny Johnson. Why? Because I still have people making fun of my name or mis-pronouncing it, or even completely tongue-tied at saying it!
Oh, I forgot to mention that my sons have carried the Name and my first born was named the third. We get our mail and calls mixed up. Very confusing. I think it’s better not to name your son after you cause it does cause a lot of trouble! So, let’s start calling me Johnny Johnson and forget about my last name :-)