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Sometimes I amazed at how much our children pick up, even at a young age. We do our best to help them to develop a strong faith to support them and give them the foundation they will need throughout adulthood, but we're not always able to see the results.
As I have matured (hopefully) throughout my life, making sure that my children have a strong, deep-seated relationship with God has become more and more urgent. I had a much more relaxed view when they were little because time seemed to stretch out forever....in other words, I felt that there would be plenty of time to teach them!
How naive I was back then, really. That old saying, 'Time Flies', is not just a saying to me anymore. I realize now just how quickly time does pass, especially as the children get older!
Also, watching my teens confront the issues of our day has really awakened in me a desire to do all I can to encourage their spiritual growth. They will certainly need a treasure trove of tools under their belts to be able to stay strong in a world that questions their faith at every turn.
I suppose that this is why I am so glad when God provides periodic little "holy eye-openers" that allow me to get a glimpse into whether or not our children have been getting the message. God graciously gave me one of those last night as we left from Stations of the Cross (which are awesome, by the way...please don't miss the opportunity to take advantage of walking with Christ on His Way of the Cross, held at most Catholic churches on Fridays during Lent):
My seven-year-old had to sit in the back of the choir (where we were singing short meditation songs between each station)and had a difficult time seeing Father and the alter servers approach each Station of the Cross on the walls of the church. Despite trying to sing and participate in the beauty of this ritual, I tried explaining each station to him in the lowest whisper possible.
Naturally, his lowest whisper and mine are not the same. His tends to mimic the low rumble of an approaching freight train.
Him: "Are you sure that's Mother Mary?" (As he pointed to a picture on a book in front of him.)
Me, startled by the oncoming fright train: "No, it's Veronica."
Him: "Are you sure? Because it looks like Mary."
Me, putting my finger over my lips to signal him to quiet down: "It's just the artist's version of her."
Him: "I still think it's Mary!!"
Me: "We'll talk about it later!"
Well, at home, we did talk about it. But interestingly, there were deeper thoughts lying in the wings under that blondish-brown hair.
"Mom, we never should have watched that show before we went to Church. It didn't have anything to do with God. We should have watched one about God to get us ready."
Now, mind you, the "show" he was talking about was a quick animated film that we had viewed to fulfill another obligation...but I knew he was right. Truly, the right thing to do would have been to choose something that would open our hearts and minds even more to being filled with the beauty of what we had just witnessed: the sad, heart-wrenching yet merciful and compassionate Stations of the Cross.
His perception of this after the fact filled my heart. I was amazed that he had come to this conclusion, especially when it seemed that he could not see enough (or be quiet enough) during the stations to be able to take away very much.
How grateful I am that God gives us these moments!! Each one comes with the added side affect of giving me a feeling of peace and hope for the future, not just for my child but for the world in general.
It also keeps me motivated to do what I can to keep Christ a huge part of his life.
Children are so dear to Our Lord, and we should never underestimate His hand in their lives. Let's continue to be open to any "holy eye-openers" that God give us this Lent, whether it be through children or those adults we come in contact with everyday. A little peace and hope added to our day is always a good thing!!
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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