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Watching his two sons become altar servers led Jake Frost to ponder how we share the light of faith with our children.

My two boys recently had their first Mass as altar servers. It was pretty cool to see them processing into the church behind the crucifix, wearing their white robes and carrying burning candles. 

I was a proud dad. 

I was happy for them, too.  

It’s great to experience responsibility being entrusted to you, to have a job and people depending on you to do it. 

It’s good also to take on a role in the broader community and start knowing what that interconnectivity is about. 

But more than anything, I felt a responsibility of hope, a hope that my kids be rooted in the faith and formed in the faith, now and throughout their lives as they grow and venture out further and further into the world. 




I’m afraid they’ll need the faith more and more in the years ahead. The world seems to be growing everywhere more confused by the minute and devolving more and more into darkness before our very eyes.  


The world has lost its way

Reading the news and looking around the world today sometimes leads to a maddening sense that we’ve lost our way — as individuals, as a nation, and as a people. 

We don’t seem to know anymore who we are, where we came from, or where we’re going: the very things that used to be the first lesson we taught our children. The Baltimore Catechism started out right in the beginning, if memory serves, something like (to paraphrase through the filter of my own faulty recollection): 

Where did I come from? God made me. Why am I here, why do I exist? To know God, love Him, serve Him in this world, and be happy with Him forever in the world to come. Where am I going? To Heaven, God willing. 

That’s the goal. That’s what it’s all about. 




The sense of pointless wandering, of being lost and aimless, that seems to be enveloping the world and all its people is maddening in part because it’s so unnecessary. At the very moment we seem to have everything, we don’t know what anything’s for.  

We can’t use the many and marvelous gifts given us because we don’t know what to do with them.  

Having the ability to reach the stars, we seem to have lost our grasp on the truth of Who made the stars and why they are even there. 

At least, we seem to have failed to communicate that truth from one generation to the next. 


Faith can orient our lives with truth

Which is the second thing that makes the loss so maddening: watching a generation — and generations — be cut off from the one thing that matters most of all, the one thing that can orient their lives with truth. 

And it’s “generations,” in the plural, because once it’s lost to one generation, it’s lost to all those who follow after that lost generation.  

Their inheritance, won by the sacrifice of those who went before us, and entrusted to us in safekeeping for them, is being stolen and destroyed. 

Maybe that’s the most maddening thing: the waste. The waste of lives, above all else. It would be a terrible and frightening thing to be adrift in the world with no idea where you came from, why you’re here and what it all means, or where you’re going. How would it be to live with no firm ground to stand on, no way to know what’s right and wrong, what is truth and what are lies? No wonder there’s confusion and darkness everywhere. 


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Parents have a responsibility of hope

Thus the responsibility of hope, that we as parents be faithful and able in serving God through the work He’s entrusted to us: passing on the light of faith to our children, with its hope, its life, its power, so that they may not be lost, but may have life, and have it more abundantly. 

When darkness descends, that is the time to light a candle. It’s for the darkness that we have the stars; then is the time to ignite and shine! 


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Copyright 2024 Jake Frost
Images: Canva