What will you leave behind?

By Charla Spalluto Misse

Oct. 22 was the Feast Day of Pope St. John Paul II. Being a saint of modern time, his prolific teachings and far-reaching efforts profoundly touched the lives of most Catholics today.
I remember his visit to New Orleans in 1987. While most youth encountered him when he spoke at the Superdome, I was blessed to perform in a Student Papal Choir when he visited the University of New Orleans (UNO).
If you were at UNO that day, surely, you remember the severity of the sun followed by a deluge of rain. And then, you remember, by the grace of God, the rain stopping just when the Pope began to speak.

The Holy Spirit’s presence was resounding on that miraculous day.
As I read the “Saint of the Day” summary on his feast day, I learned that Pope St. John Paul II’s deeply religious father played an important role in his spiritual formation after his mother’s death when he was 8 years old.
Of all the outstanding moments and defining achievements recounted of this great man’s life, that one sentence kept coming back to my mind throughout the day.

Many parents sacrifice significant time, energy and money on their children’s academic, cultural and athletic development; it is admirable and selfless – a parent’s calling.
I do this like so many others, but had recently realized that, simply, without faith, there is no hope. I had been moved to more greatly devote myself to my family’s spiritual development.
I thought to myself, if I were gone, what would I leave behind?
I can’t imagine a better legacy than to give my child unwavering faith that will carry him through life’s certain challenges. The faith that there is a reason for the rain and that Almighty God in his power and wisdom will stop the rain at the right time.

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