I was thinking about “Traditions” this week. Sometimes my family and friends down south wonder why I haven’t moved back to the bayou. They endured rebuilding after hurricanes and floods. To them the bayou is home, a way of life, a culture like no other so they rebuild and want to stay in a place they love no matter the cost.
I started reflecting on how I didn’t learn to swim and never learned to go fishing or hunting. Without knowing these traditions it is just another place to live. I love the people and miss them don’t get me wrong. But never loved peeling shrimp.
But the traditions that were meaningful to me were those of faith. And it is the faith traditions that has continued in my life. Knowing God, our Blessed Mother and all the saints. Knowing Jesus in the Eucharist and believing in heaven. Reading scripture and having prayer groups.
Following in my faith Traditions became more than traditions it becomes a relationship with God and a purpose to live a God centered life. Growing up the church was the center. God was in everything. God provided the shrimp and fish for our parents to make a living. Prayer was in the everyday living. Going to mass was not only a spiritual experience but social.
Today I was missing the all Saints Day tradition. The tradition of visiting the graves of those who gave us our faith and other saints that went before us. Graves are shrines, a holy place.
Our ancestors worked hard to build churches even with their limited incomes. They taught us to pray. They made sure we were baptized and studied the faith. All the traditions were meant to point us to God. No matter where we go in life heaven is the final destination.
I hope that wherever I am and wherever I go that I will always keep the faith, no matter the cost. May I continue the tradition of my grandparents to pray for everyone to find their way so we all spend eternity with God and one another.