Only her photo album.
And her Bible.
My mother’s Bible is just a beautiful witness to the prayer life and spiritual journey of one very faith-filled woman. Her Bible is bursting with prayer cards, mass cards, family photos and novenas (both completed and in progress). It is literally falling apart at the seams (thank goodness for its leather cover!) and its contents are held in place by rubber bands.
My earliest memories of my mother are of her beginning her day at the breakfast table—with a cup of coffee and her Bible. One of the best things she ever did for me (little girl that I was) was to show me how the book of Proverbs had 31 chapters: “One for each day!” she said, and gave me a little calendar to mark off each day that I read a chapter.
A small habit, but such a memorable one.
My mother’s Bible has been her companion throughout countless Bible studies and prayer meetings. It was there when my father was trained as a deacon in the Catholic Church—a two-year process—and there when he was ordained in 1980. Over 25 years of service on the part of my dear dad! And over 25 years as a deacon’s wife for my dear mother.
Most poignant of all for me is the way my mother’s Bible has been personalized throughout the years. Every single page contains passages that have been underlined, circled and/or highlighted with fluorescent pink and yellow. It is as colorful as she is! There are also countless notes that have been written in the margins—a conversation, as it were, between the Word and the reader of the Word.
Frankly, I am in awe of the time that my mother has spent in prayerful contemplation of Sacred Scripture.
To read my mother’s Bible is to pray with her, every single time.
My mom is eighty-two now. We don’t know when Our Lord will call her home, of course—perhaps not for many years—but I do know that when He does we will have a precious memento of my mother’s devotion to Him and of her faithfulness in prayer.
And I will say that having been a recipient of those prayers for many, many, many years, (such faith on the part of my mother; such perseverance!) I am inspired, I am humbled and I am very, very grateful.
Oh, how I hope so!