August 29, 2019

It’s that time again. Our children are going to spend much of their time with other children and adults. Inevitably, their interactions with others is going to have a great influence on them. Others will shape their minds and behaviors. Whether your children are in elementary school or going to college much of their time will be spent with others, for good and for bad.

Most of us have shared our faith with our children by taking them to church, teaching them about Jesus, religious education, and by being role models. Our hope is that they will continue in the faith we have shared with them, but there are no guarantees. Even In my family of nine siblings, two abandoned their faith in God, two others continued to believe in God-not church, and only five kept their faith by not only believing, but by going to church. Yet we all grew up in the faith and had parents who were strong Christians.

What happened? Who knows? My guess is that their faith was brought into question by influences of the World. Others tell our children that they believe only because of the family they grew up in. While that idea has a ring of truth to it, an underlying belief is that other people’s truth is just as valid and there is no absolute truth. Some of us drop the faith because we come to believe that faith is just made up by our family, belief in Jesus is purely conditioning by the culture.

Others will tell them that the Church was formed by a group of males who wanted to control others and that the Bible was just made up to keep the masses under control. Others will tell them that heaven and hell do not exist. “Prove it.” Yet others will tell them that a moral life only leads to missing out on all the joy and happiness of having fun. Others will tell them that abortion is ok and that living together prior to marriage is ok, “Everybody does it.” Some others will tell them that faith is for those who are weak and need a crutch to survive. Others will tell them Bible is not real, it’s just stories so that your parents and church and government can control you, so that you grow up to be “good citizens”. Others will say that sacraments are nothing more than empty rituals that have no effect other than to brainwash participants, and make them feel good. Others will tell them that missing mass is ok. You don’t really need to go to confession.

Our children are going to return to us with questions that address these ideas. How will you answer them? Will you agree with them, or will you be able to explain the falseness of these ideas? Are you ready?

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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