Go down on your knees and make me a promise here before the picture of the Sacred Heart. From now on there will be nobody but yourself to advise you and to decide for you. But your first responsibility will always be to save your soul, and so I want you to promise to be faithful to Our Lord in America.What a scary time for young Patrick’s father, the season of letting go. Well, it's scary for me, anyway. I know this questioning child was never mine to begin with, that she always has been God’s child more than she’s been ours. “But, oh,” my earthly mother-heart cries out, “what if she lets go of one thing and then another and then another until she lets go completely? What if she leaves Jesus and doesn’t come back?” As my teen seeks to shed those “extra” devotions, I can only cling to Mary’s promises to those who pray her Rosary — the Rosary our children prayed along with us for these five years. They are promises of powerful armor against hell itself. Of what should I be afraid? Of my child’s free will? Free will is a gift to her from God. Who am I to demand it from her? And should she spend her free will on what fails, in the end, to satisfy? We parents must rest on the hope that there is no pain that God cannot console. And, perhaps, my oldest’s current season is intersecting with mine because it’s time for me to listen to my Mother, Holy Mother Church, who, in her wisdom, must have good reason to give us those bare minimums of Lenten practice. Maybe that reason is to keep us relying on her love for us, her wisdom and not ours The gates of the netherworld will not prevail against Holy Mother Church — with or without any “extras.” Maybe, this Lent, it’s time I let go of the extras — and the real “extra” is that dread I feel of letting go of my child and giving her the room God desires to make her ever more His own. Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Copyright 2018 Erin McCole Cupp
About the Author
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She's working with Our Sunday Visitor on a book about parenting spirituality for survivors of family abuse and dysfunction. Find out more about her novels and other projects at ErinMcColeCupp.com.