Blogger: Nancy Fraioli – “Queen of Ageless Wisdom”
This is what know about faith and its wisdom. I believe I live in faith but explaining the
meaning of it is so difficult. Perhaps, because it isn’t tangible! At this moment I feel like I’m caught between the devil and the deep blue sea! Well, there’s the answer! The ‘devil!’ He never sleeps! He is meddling with my mind.
While my thoughts for this blog are running rampant, my writing hand is still! Since I can’t formulate words on paper, shall I dismantle the tree? We keep Christmas up and running through Epiphany. Supposedly, that’s when the Wise Men returned to their homes. So, instead, I decided to make a couple of loaves of bread and found some of my answers!
While preparing my dough; which consists of flour, water, salt, and the powerhouse yeast, I found my connection to writing about faith! Yes, the yeast! Without it, I would end up with a flatbread or crackers. But, this yeast thing is the main ingredient that gives growth! And so does faith! But faith is not a visible thing, you can’t use your ‘senses’ to find it. One must engage in mind, and soul; perhaps the imagination, and one’s thoughts as a very young child.
As I began to work with the flour and water, now combined with yeast, a dough began to
develop. I work with my hands and not a bread mixer because I love to knead the dough. It is a wonderful exercise for my arthritic fingers. While kneading, I’m deep in thought about this faith explanation. Well, let’s look at what I’d accomplished so far. Four ingredients and look at what has happened! Yes, my tiny little golden yeast beads mixed with warm water, a (fermenting process), blended with the flour and salt began to double itself. I couldn’t help but think about all those Bible lessons about faith. My ‘Faith Fix is a bead!
So, by now, you know that God and Jesus are not far from my mind. I thought about His words concerning faith! His very words that give me strength and substance. This I call spiritual faith! We all have it but don’t always use it.
According to Matt 17: 20-21 Jesus replied, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
In this modern day world, not many go around declaring faith! But, on the other hand, we have writers, music lovers, film producers who keep us in constant touch with their variations of what they know about faith! Numerous movies and songs have been produced about this very delicate and powerful topic. I’m sure you are quite familiar with them. Once you saddle your beliefs in yourself, you become unstoppable! Maybe that’s why people don’t believe in God; they don’t believe in themselves!
C. S. Lewis’ character, Aslan, represents Jesus Christ in The Tales of Narnia. In Richard Bach’s book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Jonathon is the embodiment of faith! In learning how to believe in himself. No one could break Anne Frank’s faith in herself; in life! This is the groundwork that I’ve set for this important and delicate subject. But, I think to make faith more believable to my reader, I should write about my own personal experiences; my own faith growth.
Back to the beginning. For the first thirteen years, I was raised by my mother’s parents. We lived in NW Ohio. My grandparents were true believers! Our one ritual each evening, before bedtime, were prayers. This we did as a trio. My Nonna and Pop were so devoted that not a night went by without prayers. Nonna sat in her rocking chair praying on her beads, and Pop sat next to her on a dining room chair. I sat at their feet, on
a wooden stool, and watched and listened. No, I wasn’t bored. There was no television to
watch; only a radio to listen to. Our nightly event ran about twenty minutes or so. I think my faith seeds began then and there! Perhaps, even fermentation was churning.
Pop spoke Italian and ‘broken’ English. Nonna couldn’t speak English and was very hard of hearing. I recall their belief in their nightly observances. Nonna said her rosary and Pop would read his Italian Bible. Without them knowing it then, they were planting a seed of faith in me. I do believe this is how and where it started for me. They believed that they were being watched over and never wanted for anything.
Since Nonna wasn’t always in the best of health, she didn’t attend Sunday mass with us. But Pop asked the priest to bring communion to Nonna. Sunday mornings were special to me. I loved attending Mass with my grandfather; my little hand in his big hand always gave me a good feeling. The big treat was after Mass when we walked to the bakery and bought my favorite eclairs.
Now, I sit on my Nonna’s rocker and say my beads. I also have my Pop’s Italian Bible. They made quite an impression upon me and my life. Antonio and Francesca, you were my mustard seeds!
Dr. Wayne Dyer asks, “have you ever taken a placebo, (sugar pill), for a medical condition and found out later that it was your faith, your belief, not the pill, that made you feel much better?”
William Blake wrote these words about St Francis’ request was to sow faith where there is doubt: “If the sun and moon should ever doubt / they would immediately go out.”
Faith’s enemies are Doubt and Fear. Once these two slip into your mind, Faith has a way of disappearing. Remember my enemy in my opening paragraph? The devil!
He’s always at work! All you have to do is keep the faith. Your new beliefs will lift you!
Nancy Fraioli is a retired Benefits Asst. from Town/Village of Harrison, NY. She’s alive and well, residing in Sarasota with her daughter and family and enjoying the Floridian lifestyle daily.
Her passions are writing, reading books of philosophy, children’s stories and poetry. Her deep love is living, learning and sharing how faith, meditation, and music guide her daily life. And she loves to lunch with the ladies!