Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

A matter of faith


“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare

When I was growing up, my mother had many superstitions.

Do not put shoes on a bed or counter.

Do not cross arms when toasting with glasses.

Do not cross the path of a black cat.

A devout Catholic, around our house were many icons to remind her of her faith and to ward off the bad luck she believed lurked around corners eager to pounce on the unsuspecting and unaware. There were candles to light beside a statue of the Virgin Mary  and a large crucifix above the mantle to kneel in front of and pray the Rosary.

Along with the symbols of her Catholic faith there were also many symbols of her heritage and the environment in which she grew up — southern India. Scattered amidst the icons of her faith, there were statues of  Shiva. There were bronze Buddha’s and only elephants with their trunks lifted.

In my mother’s world, Friday the 13th was a day to be dreaded. It was a day for mishaps and missteps. A day to be hyper-conscious of the world around you looking to trip you up or deliver some ill-timed blow of misfortune.

I used to laugh at my mother’s superstitions. I used to judge her on the contradictions I saw between belief in God and fear of evil spirits. I would tease her and try to scare her into saying a quick Hail Mary to ward off some evil miscreant awoken by my lack of respect for the spirit world.

Time has smoothed the ridges of my disdain. Time has given me a better perspective of the compassionate view of my mother’s beliefs and superstitions.

At Thanksgiving dinner this year, my mother spoke of Faith. She spoke of her deep and abiding belief in the goodness of God, the power of His creation and the holiness and sanctity of life.

No matter our teasing, no matter my scoffing at her repeated insistence she will ‘pray for me’, my mother’s faith has been the backbone and the lifeline that has tied our family together in good times and in bad.

My mother never saw the contradictions. For her, the miracle of life resonates in all beings, and just as God is ever present, she has always known the capacity for evil is also present.

Taking care of the small things, praying to protect herself, her family and the world around her against evil are to her, as natural as saying the Hail Mary in times of stress and in times of contemplation.

In my mother’s world, the superstitions woven into the fabric of her life are simply threads of colour that highlight the natural grace and beauty at the heart of who she is, a kind, compassionate and caring woman of faith.

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

15 thoughts on “A matter of faith

  1. Great story. My last words to Al this morning when he left were, be careful out there, it’s Friday the 13th.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Superstition and ANY significance of Friday the 13th is complete bunkum – and there is no scientific evidence. Much like religion, no evidence, no proof. Yet belief prevails for so many. Not just the devout, but for so many who say the ‘believe’. The ‘what’ of belief is wide ranging, but the ‘why’ of belief remains a confounding mystery. My favourite dinner party question is: ‘So, tell me what you believe and why you believe it?’ … part curiosity, part fun, part serious. If one person could bring us one shred of proof, we’d all come around to examine it. Some people build buildings without a 13th floor, as if the people on the 14th floor can’t do math …

    I think our language could easily be adjusted to fix the faith conundrum by substituting ‘hope’ for ‘faith’ and then it would all make more sense to me …

    I respect and admire many people of faith – especially those whose actions and words match, people who live their faith. The may have faith and hope, but they also have a philosophy they live. Daily. I like that. I may disagree completely on many points, but I must respect it.

    Have a nice day, enjoy the 13th … as any day.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good things will most likely happen to many today and bad things will most likely happen on all the other days to others , superstitious or not. I have probably gotten a ticket on some Friday the thirteenth in my life, but if I hadn’t been speeding, I wouldn’t have. Etc lol.
    I remember my dad telling me his mom had a superstition about putting her right shoe on first. The day they both died I am sure that they still did. But I remember thinking it.
    When I was little my mom told me that when she was little her mom told her that if a bird flies in your house someone dies. I remember a bird flying in my house and someone dying soon after. Circumstances? Yeah well birds have flown in and no ones died!
    In my life I’ve trusted God. I’ve prayed and had to commit one way or another to have faith that HE is in charge and not some black cat. But I’ve also learned that it’s important to not tell our children those silly superstitions – I know I could have lived forever without knowing some of that stuff. Lol. It seems like the new stuff I learned about as an adult wasn’tas big a deal as things our parents tell us. We all grow up and learn to think for ourselves – I know my faith is a little out of the box than what I was taught as a kid. But anywaaaay…. Have a nice day! And……. GOOD LUCK! Just kidding😏
    Have a blessed day💕


  4. I get it: the faith that there is something greater than us, the realization that we cannot control everything, and the acceptance of mystery. There is so much in life that is beyond proof, so much of human behavior that is not rational, and such a gift in finding the beauty within all of it.


  5. I’m with William Shakespeare and Mark Kolke on this one.
    Thanks for the share Louise!
    I am always amazed at how much people get from their unwavering faith… and how in turn it can limit how they live life.


  6. And what a terrible BLACK FRIDAY it was this time, for Paris, for the world.


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