My goal has always been to get my children to heaven. I wake up at night, thinking about ways I can help raise saints. My husband and I have always parented with that purpose and fought hard to spiritually provide all our children will need to accomplish that goal (through the mercy and grace of God, of course). Lately, my focus has been (sadly) changed...
It occurs to me that I may be raising martyrs. Terrifying thought, I know, but we live in a world marked by dysfunctional thinking, rampant immorality and the threat of terrorists who have sworn to exterminate Christians throughout the world. I believe, as a parent, I must confront this real possibility.
This is new territory for me, so I look to the experts and I focus on two primary sources of inspiration: Blessed Virgin Mary and the mother in Maccabees. When I fear what my children may face, I remember Mary at the foot of the cross. I focus on her complete trust in her Son and His mission to redeem us. I ask her for intercession and strength, as I unite my sufferings to those of her Son's on the cross. I know in my heart that she will not deny me (or my children) her love, support and protection on this uncertain journey.
The mother in the Second Book of Maccabees (7) has always been a source of inspiration for me. She watches each of her seven sons as they are tortured and murdered for their faith and she does not give in to weakness. She tells them that their reward in trusting God and following His will is great. I try to imagine myself in her position... I would want to scream out for the torture to stop! I would want to beg for their lives. I would desire to die first, rather than watch them suffer, and yet, she does none of those things. She whispers words of encouragement rather than allow her children to falter in faith. She knows that heaven is the goal and that this life is not the end. I ask her to help me gain that kind of faith and strength.
A friend of mine recently pointed out that we are already martyrs of the unbloody kind (white martyrs). We are being persecuted and too many are reluctant to fight. She pointed out to me that if an enemy came into the church and rushed the altar to desecrate the Consecrated Host,we would all rush up to protect that sacrament, and yet, when the sacrament of marriage is being desecrated, we are reluctant to even state the truth of what marriage is meant to be. It is so easy to be afraid.
However, we must protect the all the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and be willing to be ridiculed, persecuted, possibly sued and even killed for doing so. This life is short, heaven is eternal and I can't imagine heaven being heaven for me with out my children there. So I will pray for the strength to encourage them in the truth with the last breath in my body and I encourage you, dear sisters in Christ, to do the same. God bless.
Copyright 2015 Mary Lou Rosien
About the Author
Mary Lou Rosien is a Catholic wife, mom to seven, educator, writer, and speaker. She is the author of several books including Three Things Divorced Catholics need to Know and The Joy-Filled Broken Heart. She is known for her love of all things cooking and baking, especially “Friday cookies.” Visit her at CatholicFamilyBootCamp.com.