Maureen Locher photoHow do we praise God? We don't praise Him when we yell at our kids, or when we show them a bad example. Our children mirror everything we do from the instant they are born. They take it all in and spit it right back out and us. Oh, how I wish I knew then what I know now!

My four boys truly are the best and worst of me. I could dissect each one to see where and how they received my desirable and undesirable traits. It's that plain to me. Of course, other influences affected them but my behavior was a huge factor. These days, although my sons are older, they still watch me, mirror me. I can diffuse a situation or detonate it. So, I must be careful. I must be mindful of the power I hold within my hands, within my mood, within my choices.

The very best way I can praise God is by instilling in my children's hearts the desire to praise God in their own ways. At 18-23 years of age, they are not going to attend daily Mass with me. They are not going to look forward to the homilies each week as I do.

But when they see someone in need they will give what they can, I hope.

When they see someone "different," they will be accepting, I hope.

When they hear a rumor they will squelch it, I hope.

And when they think of me they will know I tried to do God’s will, I hope.

Copyright 2009 Maureen Locher