by Leane VanderPutten
I don’t know about you, but oftentimes I can feel a sense of urgency in myself. Maybe one of the reasons is that I am not getting any younger and there is much to accomplish in a short amount of time.
But lately it has been more focused, this sense of importance as time keeps ticking on…
I know all of us have seen the ravages around us of lukewarm Catholicism.
I just listened to a Eucharistic conference and the statistics are grim of the belief in our Lord in the Holy Eucharist…very grim. A staggering 75-80% of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence. We see casualness and indifference in the receiving of Him Who made us. And this is very widespread.
Were we to talk to an average Catholic, would they know how to say the rosary? Do they know about the importance of holy water, the scapular, St. Benedict medal and all the other treasures of our Faith?
Would they even believe in Purgatory??
It is a tragedy! They are not being taught!
That being so, it can be rather depressing to think of….and so, oftentimes, we don’t. After all, it is out of our hands.
Or is it?
Each day we have a priceless opportunity to pass on our Catholic Heritage to our family. Each day we wake to a brand new prospect of adding another stone to the foundation of the Faith in the little (and not so little) people in our lives. What are we doing about it?
I thought of this the other day as I filled up the Holy Water Fonts with Epiphany water. We aren’t always on top of this but lately it has been only me that remembers. I have older kids at home (the youngest is 17) and they are busy with many (good) things.
But it came home to me in rather a pressing way that I should be reminding them to bless themselves with Epiphany water on their way out the door. If I don’t impress on them the importance of this IMPORTANT tradition, they will not do it within their own homes…and the custom will die…with me.
Do we realize that, even though our own hearts may know these things, if we become lukewarm in passing this knowledge and these customs to our children, this radiant living of the Faith will die with us?
How unfortunate that would be!
So many opportunities will be lost.
Our children will lose out on gaining indulgences because they don’t know about them, of lighting blessed candles when there is a storm because they never thought of it, of celebrating Feast Days because it wasn’t done in their home, of offering Masses for our beloved dead because that wasn’t talked about.
They may not put on the Armor of God each day by saying their Morning Offering, using Holy water, wearing the scapular, the Miraculous and St. Benedict Medals…because they didn’t know.
The list goes on….
So, if we are going to get consumed with something, let it be the living of our Faith in our home. And let us pass this on to our families.
How? By living it in the home. It should be as natural as eating each day….talking about and living the faith.
Sure, there is only so much we can do. We don’t need to incorporate everything that is presented to us. That may make us crazy…which is not the goal.
But I do think we need to stand back and see if we have our priorities straight. Let us especially keep in the forefront of our life the learning, loving and living of our faith and this will, in turn, overflow into the lives of our families.
Maybe we should all be feeling that sense of urgency? Our family grows up quickly and will soon be forging their way into the world, hopefully following God’s will for them.
The greatest inheritance we can give them is the inheritance of a rich and positive experience of living our Catholic Faith in the home. Our Faith makes living worthwhile. And passing that on to our family is the very best gift we can give them.
And the greatest gift we can give our Holy Mother Church is faithful Catholics who continue to pass on the riches of our faith for generations to come.
There will be some things, of course, that very soon they will not want to do for her..dull, dreary things, fetching, cleaning, carrying. But these also they must be trained to do. The mother will often want to save time and trouble by doing them for herself, but if she does she will hurt her children’s character. She must train them young to work for others, to be unselfish, to give. -Dominican Nun, Australia, 1950’s
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