The rhythm of life

Bernadette Broderick

The arrival of a first grandchild gives pause for reflection on the ebb and flow of a faith-filled life. Bernadette Broderick is a counsellor and writes as part of the Dympna Circle: three women who write on spiritual and therapeutic issues.

?We have become a grandmother? Margaret Thatcher?s seemingly grandiose announcement on the birth of her first grandchild is still well remembered and ridiculed 30 years on. I have a largish family and expected to be a grandmother long before this stage of my life. So at the risk of my delight also being seen as grandiose, I want to shout from the rooftops that my first grandchild has finally arrived! After several disappointments, his safe arrival is such a joyous gift. Such a little person bringing so much pleasure and love. Miracle!

But it has made me consider the spiritual and religious responsibilities that perhaps come with this new relationship, responsibilities which engender discomfort at best and dismay at worse.

?The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them.? 1

None of my own children now practice their faith and this is the source of a great deal of sadness and guilt for me.

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