Parental Responsibility Musings.

My job as a parent is to raise my children up in the Faith. God willing, I will get this right and they will love God with all of their hearts. I have to tell you I have no idea what I am doing, but I am trying my best and following what I believe God is telling me to do.

We attend mass both on Sundays and at least once during the week. We expect the kids to pay attention during mass. Sure they are not perfect, but they do better than some teenagers I have seen. We frequent the sacrament of confession and often go together, so the kids witness us going in to the confessional and know we are going to talk to Father. We pray each night as a family together. Some nights it is only quick bedtime prayers, but most nights it is the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. (Often suggested by the oldest, who is able to lead both prayers.)

We participate in activities that are available at our parish or various parishes in our area. We celebrate feast days and put a strong emphasis on the anniversaries of sacraments.

I am not writing all of this to brag, far from it. I thank God often for the grace to be able to love Him as I do and for the grace to be able to do His Holy Will in raising my children.

That being said, it is not easy.  Certainly not! Some days I would just rather be lazy and not say bedtime prayers. I would rather just put them to bed so I can have my quiet time. Some days I would rather not deal with the rush of getting them together for mass. When we are at mass, let me tell you, sometimes it is much easier to let them do what they want during mass, to avoid a scene. Packing up the kids to drive a half hour to an hour to attend an activity at another parish isn’t very easy.

But to what advantage does being lazy, not wanting to  be rushed, avoiding conflict and not wanting to be inconvenienced have?  None. In the end, if I give in to those feelings, I fail at my job, my vocation, of being a mother. One thing I need to remind myself, everyday (often, multiple times each day) is that my life is not my own. My life is God’s to do with what He Wills. My children are gifts from Him, to raise up to honor and love Him and to some day stand before Him, in heaven.

So when I decide that something is too hard to do, because it involves a certain amount of inconvenience, thereby standing in the way of my children being able to grow in love with God, I am letting them down.  I will have no one to blame but myself when my children show no interest in God and Church in the years to come. This I would have to answer for when standing before God on my judgment day.

I would rather not have to answer that question. Not when these are the little things, the little things that when we offer up the difficulties, help us to get to heaven and Love Himself. While I do not always succeed in this, I try to joyfully pray with them in the evenings, even if I am dead tired. I try to smile through my stress of the rush to get ready for mass. I bear the embarrassment of a meltdown during mass, remember the humiliation that Jesus endured on Calvary.

We must remember the purpose of our vocations, whatever that may be, is to grow in the love of God and to work toward one day being with Him in heaven

Happy Advent.

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