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St. Teresa of Calcutta's writing inspired Tina Mayeux to reflect upon Jesus’ love and protection of her children as they mature and face new challenges.

Every epic tale contains a climactic battle scene between the forces of good and evil. Think of the clashes between the heroes and the villains in such sagas as Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings series, and every superhero movie you’ve ever seen. This reality of good versus evil applies just as certainly to the adventure of life. Raising teenagers in this day and age has solidified my conviction that the evil one is real, and he never ceases his battle for the souls of our children. St. Paul declares,

For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. (Ephesians 6:12)


Though it sometimes seems that the evil one is winning many incursions on the battlefield, we know who wins the war in the end.

Our oldest daughter graduated at the end of May, and her reaching this milestone evoked in me a million thoughts, fears, and emotions, as this is new and unchartered territory in our family. I am not sure whether it was the emotion surrounding her graduation, but I became tearful during our evening prayers one night shortly after when reading the words of Mother Teresa which are quoted in a section of Fr. Michael Gaitley’s preparation for Marian Consecration, 33 Days to Morning Glory. Part of the passage is as follows:

Be careful of all that can block that personal contact with the living Jesus. The Devil may try to use the hurts of life, and sometimes our own mistakes—to make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you, is really cleaving to you … He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy. When not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes—He is the one who always accepts you. My children, you don’t have to be different for Jesus to love you. Only believe—you are precious to Him. Bring all your suffering to His feet—only open your heart to be loved by Him as you are. He will do the rest.


Mother Teresa’s simple exhortation to draw close to Jesus and to resist the tactics the Devil uses to lure us away from Him is so profound, it brought me to tears as we read this passage during our family prayers. Knowing the difficulties that await our children in the world, I was overcome with emotion, hoping that they truly hear and take to heart these words of wisdom from one of the greatest saints to have recently lived, who understood the challenges of this modern world. My prayer is that our children will always believe in Jesus’ love for them and remain close to Him to withstand the attacks of the enemy.



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5 ways to prepare our children for the future and arm them for the battles they will face once they venture out on their own. #catholicmom


At our daughter’s Graduation Mass from her Catholic high school, the priest gave a wonderful homily explaining how, like sand or cement, the students were being formed and solidified through their Catholic education and formation at home in the family. Using a small sandcastle and a cement mold in a cross shape as props, he demonstrated how the waves of the secular culture would pour over them and destroy their faith if they were not solidly formed in their Catholic faith. When he poured water over the sandcastle, it was completely demolished because it was not sturdy and solid. The cement cross, however, was strong and unyielding and could withstand any force that washed over it without collapsing. It represented to the graduates the strength of a well-formed and virtuous soul who is not moved by the powerful tide of the secular culture.

This experiment brilliantly demonstrated for the graduates and for us as parents how essential it is to prepare our children for the future and arm them for the battles they will face once they leave the nest and venture out on their own. In addition to Mother Teresa’s advice of drawing close to Jesus to avert the tactics of the evil one, what are some other ways that we can prepare our children for the battles they will certainly face when they go out into the world? Just a few ideas that have helped our family include:

  1. Prayer and spiritual warfare. Thessalonians 5:17 is composed of three simple words: “Pray without ceasing.” This command is especially necessary as our children become teenagers and adults and face new and more difficult challenges.

  2. Educating our children in the Faith. Whatever our choices for educating our children, faith formation is primarily our responsibility as parents. Through our words and example, we instruct and model how to be a good Catholic Christian to them every day.

  3. Frequenting the sacraments. Receiving the sacraments, especially Confession and Eucharist, and bringing our children to receive them is essential in strengthening our family’s faith and protecting them from the enemy.

  4. Utilizing sacramentals such as the Brown Scapular, Miraculous Medal, and holy water with faith and trust can help protect us and increase our children’s devotion.

  5. Devotion to Our Lady and the saints. What better advocate and protector is there than the Mother of Jesus to turn to for our children’s spiritual well-being? She is a Mother to each one of us and loves us more than we can imagine. Requesting the intercession of particular saints for our children is also a wonderful way to help them in their unique challenges and needs.

These are a few ideas about how to attempt to raise young saints who are equipped for the battlefield of life. What are some other ideas that you can add to this list to inspire our children to grow in love for Jesus and our Catholic Faith?



Copyright 2022 Christina Mayeux
Images: copyright 2017, 2021 Holy Cross Family Ministries; all rights reserved.