The Family Reunion
May 1988By Cherry Boone O'Neill
Cherry Boone ONeill, the oldest daughter of Pat Boone, is the author of Starving for Attention, the international best-selling book on her recovery from anorexia nervosa and bulimia. She subsequently wrote the book Dear Cherry: Questions and Answers on Eating Disorders. She is also a songwriter. The above article is adapted from The New Catholics, edited by Dan ONeill and published last fall by Crossroad.
...And please bless Mommy and Daddy and Lindy and Debby and Laury and Frosty. God bless all my friends. God bless Lassie and . A moment of silent anticipation interrupted the simple prayer pouring forth from my four-year-old heart. With a furrowed brow and one ear cocked heavenward, I asked: and could you please talk a little louder, God? I cant quite hear you.
This childhood tale not only produces parental chuckles but evokes nostalgic memories of innocent and uncomplicated faith the kind of faith we long for in later years when age, experience, and worldly realities interfere with our lines of spiritual communication with God. For as far back as I can remember, I always had some kind of interaction with God. Likewise, I have always had an understanding, however primitive, that Jesus was Gods Son and our Savior. And as the preceding account clearly demonstrates, I have always expected prayer to be a dialogue.
Christianity has, from my earliest recollections, been more than a moral code or a specific spiritual path. It has been a relationship,. As in every long-term partnership, there must be growth and change, not only because relationships are dynamic, but because we as individuals are transformed over a period of time. Without development, there is stagnation. We seem to resist change, but it is essential to growth physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Needless to say, I have certainly changed from the four-year-old, pig-tailed sprite I was when my prayers consisted of long lists of God blesss. In many ways the changes have been for the better, yet at times I wonder if certain changes have pulled me from the simple faith I had as a child. Sometimes I wish it were that easy again. But if it were, my faith as an adult would hardly be realistic in light of the world we live in and the person I have become. In order to understand just who I am now, I must review the road I have traveled thus far.
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