Kathy Perusek considers the lessons she wishes she had taught her now-grown children about the Faith.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324).
Now that my children are grown, I hope that I have faithfully imparted the honor and reverence due this Holy Sacrament.
As I grow older, the more I appreciate and the power of the Holy Eucharist. I have witnessed answers to prayer, through daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration, and frequent Confession. I was not always so fervent. I am a cradle Catholic, and took my Faith for granted, until I became a mother. I was young when we started our family, and I relearned the Church teachings, right along with my seven children. I raised them in the Catholic Faith, as best I could, yet I wonder if I emphasized the importance of the Sacraments. Some of my adult children do not practice the Catholic Faith and have not accepted it as their own. My window of opportunity is gone.
We did not rush to have our children baptized; we waited two to three months. I did not realize the importance of early Baptism. I was baptized at two weeks old!
“Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God, we become members of Christ” (CCC 1213).
How amazing is this that we become adopted sons and daughters of God? Why wouldn’t I rush to get this Sacrament of grace, to join my baby to Christ, so he or she could be filled with the Holy Spirit? This reality is most important, and something I wish I realized at the time.
I thought I had sufficiently taught them, by example, the importance of frequent Confession and reception of the Eucharist in a state of grace. Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Eucharist. Jesus meant what He said.
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:52-56)
Just as many of the people who followed Jesus. many Catholics, sadly, do not believe in the Real Presence.
As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69)
To receive our Lord in this Holy Sacrament, we dare not approach Him with mortal sin, “sin which is grave in matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent on our souls” (CCC 1857). To know which sins are most serious, we can point our children to the Ten Commandments and the seven capital sins: pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth (CCC 1866). If we willfully choose not to attend Mass on Sundays, we cannot show up anytime and just receive Communion. We have to go to Confession to be in a state of grace, and we must believe He is truly present in the Sacred Host. If not, we should remain seated.
I wish I had known to teach my children the precepts of the Church, to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and to Confess our sins once a year. I now go monthly.
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthy will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgement on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgement. (1 Corinthians 11:27-31)
My children’s immortal souls are at stake! Though they are grown, I can still pray and fast for them. With Covid restrictions, many bishops have removed the obligation to go to Mass. In many states we still can go, or at least watch the livestream and make a spiritual Communion to keep the Lord’s Day holy. I encourage all parents to fully teach the Catholic Faith, as we promise, at our children’s Baptisms, and not leave it up to the teachers at Catholic school or PSR. If we do not thoroughly teach them their Catechism, the world will teach them what is clearly opposed to it.
How can you make sure to impress upon your children’s souls the importance of the Sacraments?
Copyright 2020 Kathy Perusek
Images (top to bottom): Pexels (2019); all others copyright 2020 Kathy Perusek, all rights reserved
About the Author
Kathy Perusek is a mother of seven children, and a grandmother. She was a stay-at-home mom until her oldest child graduated college. Kathy then returned to school, earning associate degrees in nursing and arts. She worked as an RN in a hospital, then for hospice; currently, she works in a pediatric practice. She is a former La Leche League leader and enjoys reading, singing, and babysitting.