Faith begins at home. Nobody can take the place of mom and dad. Pope John Paul II reminded us in Familiaris Consortio, "since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it."
We never missed Mass on Sunday, not once! Even if it meant walking through a blizzard to get to St. Hugo's Parish, my mom and dad were determined to make it happen. We were always a few minutes early, and I knew they looked forward to spending this time with our Lord in quiet reflection. I was impressed by the reverence of their genuflection and how they knelt down and prayed intensely for several minutes before Mass. My mom and dad went to Confession once a month and invited my 2 brothers and my sister and I to come along. I still have this image of my mom and dad kneeling in different parts of the Church. This was so powerful for me to see my mom and especially my dad walk in and out of the Confessional. On the ride home, there was peace, there was a certain glow in their faces, and their marriage seemed stronger. My mom went to daily Mass at 6:15 AM and prayed the daily rosary in the evening. This certainly kept the flame of her heart burning with love, not only for my dad and us kids, but also for the 2nd grade students she taught for over 30 years! We prayed grace before meals as a family and my mom insisted that we pray a Hail Mary for a safe trip before traveling and whenever we heard an ambulance.
Besides prayer and the Sacraments, there was a real Catholic culture imbedded in our household. My mom took special care of the Marian garden in the back yard and made sure that every bedroom had a crucifix. She put a beautiful image of the Sacred Heart in the main hallway, and other images of Mary and the Last Supper around the house. Good Friday was a special day of silence and prayer, and we attended the entire Good Friday service together in the afternoon.
My parents truly loved Christ and understood why they were in this world. My dad would tell me, "Michael, don't get too caught up in this world; remember that we are all passing through." Or "I made a commitment to your mom in the presence of God, and this has helped me to persevere and do whatever it takes to make it work." The only thing that has kept my mom going after the death of one of her sons and her husband, 2 miscarriages, and so many other burdens is her deep Faith.
Catholic Schools are helpful. Youth groups are helpful. Good friends are helpful. But nobody, absolutely nobody can take the place of mom and dad teaching and living the Faith!
Fr. Michael Sliney, LC works with youth in Washington D.C.
Question or comment? Please, write to Fr. Nathan Miller, LC at [email protected]
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|Published by: Segun Fayomi Alex|
|Date: 2011-08-14 21:37:36|
|have always experience an internal bliss,peace of mind in the church.
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