Ginny Kochis offers reassurance to moms worried that their children will abandon the faith in a terrifying world.
Hey, friend. I know sometimes it seems like there’s nothing scarier than raising Catholic kids.
It’s terrifying, quite honestly, to look out at the world in which you will launch these small people and see that it’s really - how should I put this?
Because even though the battle’s been won (and you know that) and death has been conquered (and you know that, too) our culture does a really good job of making us question everything we’ve ever held dear and fought for.
You know the Truth and you speak it. Most days, though? Evangelization is like shouting at the wind.
And then there are your children. And you want what’s best for them. You want them to love, to know, and to serve God in this life and the life hereafter, but it is not an easy task to accomplish.
Uncle Screwtape and his cronies are loud and they are vicious. They’ve made inroads and snatched away friends, family, even pious people you maybe followed on social media. You’ve felt sick. Helpless. Like you’re watching a train wreck.
Is there any hope if they’ve abandoned their Catholic faith?
I get it, friend. Out of my Catholic high school class of 210 graduates, I’d say maybe less than 20 of us are still practicing. Good friends and neighbors were raised Catholic but no longer follow Church teaching. Siblings, in-laws, and public figures I admired have publicly stated they are leaving the faith.
And (this is the kicker) I’m raising three kids who, statistically, are five times more likely to become atheist or agnostic because of their neurological makeup.
Like I said, I get it, and sometimes it chills me to my soul.
What in the world are we supposed to do?
Well, the first thing is that we can’t let fear consume our thoughts or dictate our actions. Fear is what gives Satan inroads to our hearts. It makes us fragile; it makes our minds go down dark rabbit holes to scary places. Remember this quote that’s been attributed to St. Francis de Sales:
Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul except sin. God commands you to pray, but he forbids you to worry.
Second, we don’t need to beat ourselves up over liturgical living and all that it entails. My friend Jenna once told me that God doesn’t care about your crafting skills or the end product of the construction paper Advent wreath you made with your kiddos. What matters is the state of your soul -- and theirs. I’m not saying liturgical living is a bad thing -- it’s definitely a great, added way to grow your family’s faith life. What I am saying is that simple is just perfect, and you don’t have to recreate Catholic Pinterest in your dining room.
Third, we can’t shy away from difficult questions and conversations. Our children have to know and understand the faith in order to embrace it. They deserve the opportunity to know the answers to their questions and find those answers to be Truth.
So, if punch lists are the kinds of things that make you happy:
- Go to Mass and take your kids with you.
- Pray together as a family - even just a decade of the Rosary will do.
- Introduce them to their saint posse, those intercessors who are gosh, this is crazy, so much like you, kiddo!
- Consecrate their lives to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus ...
- and trust that He won’t let them fall.
I think sometimes we feel like we are the only ones responsible for the state of these beautiful souls, but we have to remember that that’s not entirely true. God is responsible for them, and like all human creation, they have been given free will and the opportunity to choose Him. Our role is to guide them to that choice in the most loving way possible.
This is not something you have to do alone.
Yes, it is a heady task. But those fears are desolations and they are not of God, my dear sister.
Love your faith, live your faith, and talk to your kids about it openly, honestly, truthfully.
Place their hands in those of Our Blessed Mother and her Son, our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
Trust in God to bring them home.
Copyright 2020 Ginny Kochis
Image: Pixabay (2017)