Role Of Parents On Faith Journey - March 2010

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THEME: ROLE OF PARENTS ON FAITH JOURNEY

Love for Jesus Christ

LOVE is the LIFELINE that will save your children. God’s love for your family, your love for him and your spouse and your children, your children’s love for family and God – this thread of unified love will course down the years through your children’s destiny. With the help of God it will direct them to live honorably; and to win eternal life.

It is in your life’s divine mission to impart in your children a love of God that will last them for all their lives.
God gave you each of your children for one reason: that you labor in family life to lead each of them back to him-now, and later, and forever. He will hold you to account for how well you do this. It is your greatest responsibility. Your children’s religious upbringing cannot be done in fits and starts, with mere superficial acts of piety inserted into family life. Your family’s religious practice must not be something “extra” something helpful but something unessential.
It cannot be a protective garment put on in troubled times and then later put away like a raincoat or umbrella.

If your children adopt this misguided attitude, seeing faith-life as a bunch of shallow habitual practices, they may (and probably will) leave religion behind them. As they grow, they may abandon God and his Church along with their toys and dolls and Santa Claus.
This, as we have seen, could lead to tragedy.
Only a deep, heartfelt personal love for God-God loved through and through in the family; God dwelling alive in the hearts of one’s parents – will last your children a lifetime and direct their lives aright.

What does this vocation mission mean for you?

It means you must struggle to know God personally, to see him vividly as he is: a person with mind and heart and will, an all-powerful loving Father, the greatest of all friends, the one Friend who will never let you and your family down. Your children will not really know God this way if their vision is confined to plaster statues and stained glass images. They will know him most deeply from what you teach them with your life. They will come to share your vision of him – a real, living, loving Person – or they will have no vision at all.

Love leads to service. And so you must strive to serve God personally right where he has place you, among your family and friends and all those other people (strangers to you now) whose lives God has arranged to intersect with your own. You serve Him by serving them. You take the powers he has given you and direct them towards others’ needs. Some people in your life need help and encouragement, and this you extend through friendship. Some are burdened down with a life of pointless drudgery, and you teach them by your life’s example, the Christian secret of happiness. Everyone needs to find God. Your friends will find in your confident eyes, your heartfelt words, and your deeds of service. This is your apostolate.
Your children, too, will fall in love with Jesus Christ for life when they encounter Him in your eyes, your words, the way you serve him in the countless details of family life. Christ will be real to them when he is alive in your heart.

St Irenaeus once said, “Nothing give more glory to God than a person who is fully alive”

You and your family will give glory to God when you are filled with God’s grace and strive to live a virtuous life. In our urbanized civilization, people seldom find God in nature; the lights of our cities blot out the stars. If your children do not find God in you, they may never find him at all.
So set this as your ideal. By the time your children are in their late teens, they should display the great Christian virtues. They should be learned, competent, tough-minded, responsible, nobody’s fool or patsy.
At the same time, they should retain all the great loves they had as small children – love for God, love for family, love for life and friends and laughter, and a passionate love for the truth.

With God’s help and your vocational dedication, your children will grow to become great men and women, people with the powers of adults and the hearts of children. They will be what Christ called all of us to be: “ wise as a serpent, and innocent as doves”
( Matthew 10:16); And your family life together will be part of the hundred-fold he promised to those who love and serve him faithfully – a grand and beautiful adventure.
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