Wednesday, October 7, 2009
A Plea To Parents
This got me to thinking~yes we do need to hear good, strong, Catholic teaching from our priests and bishops, but I believe the teaching needs to begin at home.
Now that being said, I will say this; I am not a parent~God gave me that opportunity and I threw it back at Him. So I have no credibility as a parent. This post is not to judge or condemn anyone's parenting habits or styles. The purpose of my writing this is to beg parents to get down on their knees for their children and with their children! I know I am preaching to the choir; most if not all of you reading this, do pray for and with your children.
My credibility in writing this is more from a child's perspective. I shared some of this in my comments on Gabriella's post, but I will go into a little more depth here.
I love my parents, but I have to say in the area of faith formation, they fell terribly short. They sent my sister and I to Catholic school, they believed in God(on the surface they still do) and I am even sure that at times they probably did pray for us. My mother took us to Mass until we were old enough to decide for ourselves if we should go. But that's where it seemed to end. Growing up I remember hearing the "gospel of the world" being preached; go to school, get a good job, become independent, sex is OK as long as you love the person and protect yourself. I also heard from my Dad that maybe he should send me off to college with a prescription for the pill, from my Mom I heard, "If you come home pregnant I would take you for an abortion." Upon leaving my wedding reception, she asked me out loud if I had taken my pill.
Now in the face of good, practicing Catholics, these statements are all absurd, even scandalous! But my parents were Catholic in name only. They were living according to the world's standards.
I don't mean to paint them as horrible people, they aren't. As I said, I love them for who they are and I believe they truly meant well.
That being said, my sister and I, while somewhat successful according to the world's standards, fell far from what God had planned for us. By His grace, I sought healing and came back to Him, but along that road is a child who died because I thought I had a right to choose, and a failed marriage. My sister, whom I love dearly, quite honestly is in danger of losing her soul. (Please pray for her conversion)
Why do I tell you all of this? I believe that children learn by example. My years as a teacher has proven this. The example set by parents, I believe, are the most important. Parents are a child's first teachers. But you can't give what you do not have, none of us can. We need to draw strength from heaven; that comes through prayer and reception of the sacraments. Go to Mass as a family, pray as a family. Father Peyton was famous for saying: "The family that prays together, stays together." He was so right. Go to confession as a family. What a great example for children to see their parents humbling themselves before Almighty God! And finally, pray for your children. Make Holy Hours for them, say rosaries for them, commend them to Our Lady, and whisper prayers of blessing as they go to sleep each night. In today's world, they need all the help they can get!
Once again, I do not mean to preach; I have no right or authority to do that. I apologize if this sounds preachy. I have written this simply to give my testimony as someone raised according to the world.
I will repeat what I said at the beginning~many of you who will read this already do all that I mentioned and more, but maybe you have friends or acquaintances who could use a little "wake up call"; pass this post on to them.
As you go and live your vocation as parents, I will keep you all in my prayers; in my opinion, you have one of the toughest job descriptions to fulfill.
*Note: For more detail as to where I am coming from in all this, you can read my Reversion Story post. The link is at the top of my sidebar.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.