Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hope for Worried Mothers (and Fathers)

This is a post I've been working on for awhile now. After reading this great post by my "blogging brother", Sardonic Catholic Dad, I thought this post would tie in nicely.

One of my greatest worries is that I will fail as a mother and one or more of my children might abandon their faith. I know this is an irrational fear. I mean, eventually our children must choose for themselves and despite our best efforts and prayers we cannot compel our children to remain faithful followers of Christ. I still worry and pray, and worry and pray some more. I have special prayers I pray after each Mass, imploring God to protect my children's innocence and their faith. I will always pray those prayers, even as they enter adulthood. I also know my prayers will not fall on deaf ears.

At a special Mass we attended for children preparing for confirmation (our eldest son will be confirmed in April) our priest related a very personal, family story. He comes from a family of four boys. He very often tells stories of his family growing up in Maryland and stories of his brothers, and stories of his parents. His parents were living saints, one can tell just by hearing how respectfully and lovingly Monsignor speaks of them. His mother passed away several years ago, but his father is still living. His father and his brothers and their families will all come and visit Monsignor at the rectory at least once a year--another source of great stories from our priest. Anyway, in this instance he spoke of his oldest brother, who abandoned his faith as a young man, for no certain or explainable reason. Monsignor described his brother's slipping away from his faith as a failure to make the jump from a child's faith to an adult's faith, a step we must all take on our own, at some point in our adult lives. Monsignor recently visited his brother and his brother related to him he was coming back to the church and to his long lost faith after more than 30 years. Monsignor is absolutely thrilled, of course, that his prodigal brother has found his way back. I'm also sure his mother is leaping for joy in heaven, at the return of her delinquent son. Her prayers did not fall on deaf ears.

This story was of great comfort to me. As sad and disappointed as I'd be if my children chose a wayward path, I know it really is out of my hands. I could do everything absolutely correctly as a parent, and my children will still make their own decisions in life, for good or bad. But God will not abandon us. He hears our prayers and he will always be there when our children return to him, and thank God, they almost always do.
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10 comments:

Sarah (JOT) said...

Even if we do not see the results in this life, never cease praying for your children. Or your spouse. Or your friends. And, so on.

It's good you put your fear to prayer - which is TRUST in the Lord. God bless you.

Happy St. Pat's!

Anonymous said...

Mau...I could never picture you having even a hint of irrational fears...I figured all of your fears had some kind of rationale to them such as (will baby wingy use permenant ink on your walls and end up scrubbing the same spot on the wall until he is 13? will stat boy's arrogant statements about the 'Heels wreck their karma for the tourney and they are knocked out by the Zags? will shorty turn out to be as bad of a driver as her mother or even worse? will kitty kat stage a coups in your house and institute martial law filled with candy rainbows and unicorns? will angelina the ballerina actually utter an unkind word or worse yet...talk like your brother? will we find out that little o is actually you who found a time machine and was able to teleport the younger you to 2009? Will you come to the conclusion that your brother is way smarter than you? AND will you discover that your husband hasn't flown airplanes all these years he has been the person who waxes them?) Now those are real ratoional fears you should focus on. Happy Maewyn Succat Day to you, Chris and the kids!!!! Love you a lot!

Your Bro!

Mau said...

Nice reference to Saint Patrick's given name. I had to actually look that one up. . . maybe you are smarter than me, but are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Anonymous said...

Nope!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Nice blog..will link to you perhaps you might add mine?

Rob said...

great post? blogging brother? are you trying to kiss up to me so I'll route for the Heels? i'll tell you what, if they end up playing Puke then i'll cheer NC on.

btw - great post and don't worry about your kids, just keep serving them that awesome coffee of yours

maxbrucewell said...

Knowing you three kids and how you love the lord and love your families makes a father very thankful and proud!

Mau said...

Thanks dad. Couldn't have done it without you.

Sam said...

I too have a brother who recently went to confession after 35 years!!! Let us pray for each others kids!!!

Go God!!!
+JMJ+

momto5minnies said...

That's a fear for me too. Yesterday I bought some apologetic books ... trying to feed that to my oldest who "gets" our faith.

ALWAYS pray ...
Even those who stray may come back and have a deeper faith. I know I did ;)