We meet Tricia Kendall, a pretty Caribbean-American accountant, at the Riis Park beach, New York. Her topaz bikini is a few shades lighter than the Atlantic that spreads out as far as the eye can see and beyond. She quickly patch-dries and lays on her towel. She then kindly agrees to a brief interview and sits up, her back toward the sun.
CP: When someone asks about the walk of your life - what comes to mind?
TK: I think a bevy of things -- walks of life can be referenced to age, class, experiences, profession, wealth, education, etc. I am not even sure where to begin, . . . though there is one road in my life which, I know that I will continue to walk until my time is up. It is simply… my spirituality.
CP: Why? I mean, why your spirituality, why not something else?
TK: It is a focal point in my life that ultimately encompasses and influences most of what I do.
CP: How did you come to that focal point?
TK: Hm. . . I can simply say that it took a few different turns. I was introduced to my spirituality from birth by my parents. It all began with my baptism. I remember, from age six, sitting with my mom and my dad trying to learn to say the Rosary. Sometimes, on Sunday afternoons, my grandmother would take me and my little cousins to church. I remember us clinging to her dress.
CP: Where you into it right away? I mean, you were just a child most likely not fully comprehending what was shown to you. Did you feel you were ‘called’? Was it something more mundane, a simple guided development that just took some time?
TK: No, I wouldn’t say I was ‘called’. As a child, I was always restless, just simply waiting for the priest to end the mass and say go in peace to love and serve the Lord. That alone was the big sign for me and my cousins to clamor out the church and run around the yard like little untamed children. Years went by. By the age of fifteen, I became more curious in learning that which was to fullfill the need for the spiritual that I had. Ever since, instead of grumbling to go to church, I readily wanted to attend mass.
CP: Did you ever get involved beyond attending mass?TK: Actually, I did. I became part of youth groups at church, and began going into the poverty stricken areas with my mom to visit the sick, and distribute food.
CP: Tricia, were you challenged? Were there times when you almost gave up, not comprehended fully your own spirituality, did you ever loose faith?
TK: There was a point of time in my life when focus on my spirituality was being challenged. It was during my days at college. I was experiencing conflict with wanting to live a more worldly life and not praying as I usually did. Sometimes I would forget that I had this wonderful Lord and savior that I could rely on in adverse situations. Never really completely lost faith, though.
CP: How did you overcome those challenging times?
TK: To get myself back to reality I would run into the chapel at college just to regain peace. There were days when I would even take my friends to the chapel and pray with them if they were facing any difficulties. Those were the moments that drew me back to where I needed to be. Sometimes, I get this notion that humans are too skeptical when it comes to inviting God into their lives.
'It is always easier for a man to embrace
CP: To what would you attribute that scepticism?
TK: It is always easier for a man to embrace the negative than to follow what is best. It is easier for one to entertain anger when provoked than it is to continue to cultivate peace in any given situation. I, myself, have also encountered some testy situations in which it seemed at the time that there was no way out. Then I would remember to communicate through prayer with the Holy Spirit and I would get back to where I needed to be.
CP: When you look back, are you pleased with the spiritual path you took? Could it have been something other than what it was?
TK: I have a greater conviction now than ever that whatever I have gained and exercised in my spirituality was for a reason. It is what helps to keep me living with greater perspective, rather than living life in a raw sense. Besides, why question the guidance by the wisest being that ever was?
CP: This gives off an echo of St. Augustine’s ‘faith seeking understanding’. . .
TK: Yes. The trick to it all is having the faith to believe that what you ask for from God will be given to you.
CP: You seem to be quite involved in your spiritual sphere of existence. What, what you say, are the basics of a rich spiritual life?
TK: I am Roman Catholic. Basic tenets of my religion and spirituality are Love, Faith and Hope.
'Establishing love for God
CP: I’d like to briefly discuss those tenets. Let’s start with Love. Of. . .?
TK: God. The existence of love in one’s heart for God propels one to yearn for more of Him in one’s life, to reach out to God to get one to where one wants to be. One of the ways that He gets you there is through His guidance. Establishing love for God will not only affect your relationship with Him, but it will also transcend into the relationships that you have with others.
CP: Faith? Simply.
TK: Faith is having the belief, trust and confidence that once you have prayed about a situation and placed it in the hands of the heavenly Father, you must leave it up to Him to do what is best for you.
CP: Hope. What does it mean to you?
TK: To me, being hopeful is having expectancy to know that God is doing the best that He can for you. Coupled with patience, Hope assists in waiting for the answer from Him.
CP: Are you a patient woman?
TK: The road of patience is not an easy road at times for anyone, I think. It certainly is not my strong key, but I know it’s something that is gained over time and I am working on it.
'In my eyes, I can pray
CP: Let’s say, one has reached a certain plateau of belief, one has ascertained having Love, Faith, and Hope as you described to us. What next?
TK: Another wonderful thing that has increased my relationship with God is that of gratitude. Sometimes, we have a tendency to complain, but we should look at the bigger picture and be grateful for our blessings instead of complaining about the little things that surround us. Most of the times we forget to say thank you for the little things. Having love, faith, and hope, my next step was to say Father thank you for being in my life.
CP: What do you pray for?
TK: In my eyes, I can pray for nothing too big or too small. I pray for guidance with work, peace (within me and in the World), etc. I have even prayed for a seat on the train when I have had a long day at work. Believe it or not -- it worked!
CP: Let’s talk about something else. We’ve heard you have an excellent singing voice.
TK: I enjoy singing and it seems other people enjoy when I sing as well. I don’t know if I would call my voice excellent, though.
CP: Ah, you’re just being modest . . . We know ‘cause we’ve heard the critics after you performed a song at the International Community Day in Brooklyn. Interestingly, you sang it in Croatian. Is this right?
TK: Yes, that is correct.
CP: How come out of all the languages you’ve chosen Croatian?
TK: I have some friends who wanted to do a song in their native language. I thought it was a great opportunity to try something new and I performed it with them. This was back in April, 2002.
CP: Do you speak Croatian?
TK: Not a word.
'To truly love is to
CP: Is there anything you’d like to add for the readers of Cavtatportal.com?
TK: To learn to establish a sound relationship with the Holy Spirit is one of the best treasures one can have as Holy Spirit is the source that guarantees perfect wisdom, guidance, forgiveness and most of all love. To truly love is to find God as God is Love.
CP: Tricia, thank you for your time.
TK: Thank you and – God bless.
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