In this second offering for the #BATTLEROAYLE, I will explain what exactly it is that I desire deeply to share with my children, should I be so blessed as to get married and have children. As I said in the first piece, I hope to share what I have been given with those most precious to me.
Some people in today's world would see me raising my children in my faith as "child abuse". So first things first: what is “abuse”? According to the Dictionary app, “abuse” is defined as “to use wrongly or improperly”, “to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way”, and “to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about.” An obsolete definition included “to deceive”. However, in order for one to deceive, one must have full knowledge of the truth and willingly say something that is untrue. If I would demonstrate the faith for my children with the same tender love with which I was raised and if I truly believe in my faith like I do, then by simple definition alone, I would not be abusing my children.
So what about my faith is so important that I want the to know it as I have?
The Source and Summit of The Catholic Faith.
Short of my own life, the Catholic faith is the greatest gift that my parents have given me. At every Mass, I receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. The Eucharist is the main reason why I am Catholic. It is the true sacramental presence of Jesus Christ among us. In addition to receiving Him in the Mass, I have the beautiful opportunity to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament. It has helped me to find comfort in times of suffering, hope in times of discouragement, courage in times of fear, strength in times of weakness, and joy in times of sadness.
My faith helps me to examine my life and my choices and to know what I must do differently, why, and how. It helps me to remain humble about the good that I do, so as not to dismiss my need for God’s grace. It also helps me to remain humble about the wrongs that I do, so as to not despair but turn to His Mercy; the sin of Judas was not as much in betraying Jesus as it was in despair, thinking that his sin was greater than His Mercy. I sometimes see questions like “how can I stop blaming myself?” and “So-and-so told me it’s not my fault, but I still feel bad. What do I do? " I can’t help but wonder how many hearts would be healed if instead of turning to blame-shifting and therapy, they turned to Mercy, which is offered in the sacrament of Confession. If I was born with sin and my sons and daughters would be born with sin, how could I justify not teaching them about something greater than their sins?
People often complain about religions being judgmental and condemning, but then they accuse the faithful of using their faith to rationalize or justify their own terrible behavior. So which is it? Should their faith tell them “you’re wrong” or “you’re all good. Sweep it under the rug and forget about it”?
The world is a noisy place. This is why I attend the traditional Latin Mass in the “low form”, meaning there’s no music and no choir and why I almost always experience some great consolation when visiting Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. There is a complete stillness, a silence, an escape for those few moments from a distracting world of discord and conflict.
There is not only the exterior silence, but an interior silence which is achieved when offering the sufferings within to that which is eternal.
What reason would I have to not introduce my children to such peace?
Quite simply, the faith doesn't change. The way it's taught and presented might change, but the core of the faith is the same. People in today's world want something that is real and consistent. I truly believe that I have this in the Catholic faith. And if my children would have that same longing, I would have no justification for not passing it along to them.
"Lord, where would we go?"
As my parents did with me, I know that my children would make their own decisions once they leave home and I would have to let them. They would make mistakes and I would have to let them. Whether they would live pious or sinful lives though, the best I could possibly do would be to pray for them daily and to be the best possible representative of God's fatherly and merciful love for them, to guide them through their own trials, and to remind them that they are not notorious sinners bound for Hell if they don't change, but wounded souls trying to find their way home.
I won't make excuses for parents and families who have been poor examples of their faith, whatever it may be. Authentic faith cannot be forced or coerced. It can only be shared and nurtured. As my parents did with me, I can only plant the seeds. If you still want to think that religion is outdated and silly or that I would be abusing my children by passing it on to the, fine. But I really must know if an open-minded and tolerant society is becoming so intolerant that they're willing to put whatever labels possible on religious faith to turn people away from it.
I love my faith. There is nowhere else I would rather be. And if it means to me what it does, if I makes me who I am, then I will share it with those whom I love the most.
I have said these things for the Greater Glory of God.