You know, it’s just plain hard to be a parent sometimes. Oh, I love all of the cuddling, the cute music shows and the Mothers Day projects they bring home from school. That’s the easy part. The hard part is finding all of the homework that needs to be done, finding time to do all of that fundraising and breaking up sibling fighting over Barbie dolls or (input your sibling issue here).
And of course, there is that model thing…you know the drill, “do what I say not what I do”. My biggest model issue is patience. How can I teach patience to my children if I have such a hard time with it myself? Well, not to plug any books or authors, but I personally love Dr. Ray Guarendi. He is the father of 10 adopted children (home schooled) and has a wonderful witty and humorous way of helping parents with all kinds of kid issues. I quote him all of the time to my girls to the point that just last week during family prayer intentions, Maria asked God that Mama not listen to Dr. Ray anymore because Mama is getting too strict! But this still leaves the problem of my own failings as a Christian. And there are at least two pairs of little eyes taking in every little bit of every problem I have! Ouch!
I pray. And pray and pray and pray. And I ask forgiveness not just during confession but of my girls when I have been much less than stellar. And then I pick myself up again and go forth to be the best mother and wife I can be with the Grace of God. Isn’t that what Peter did after denying Christ? He asked forgiveness and then picked himself up and did the very best he could….with the Grace of God.
That’s all each of us can do. As parents we have a beautiful vocation in teaching our children the truth of our faith. And not just teaching it, but LIVING it. Their eyes are upon us every second of every day. They hear what we say and DO what we DO!
We may fail at times to be the best Catholic examples we can be. But it’s the getting back up and sharing with our children that we must persevere…and then persevere ourselves. Our children will then truly learn to lean on their faith when we aren’t there. They will learn to drink in God’s Grace through the Sacraments when we show them by our actions how important they are to us. And they will continue this legacy of Faith we started because they will recognize the fruits of Faith born in themselves through our actions and love of our Faith.
Pope Benedict XVI, May 13th, 2007, Marian shrine of Aparecida in
"Families stand at the heart of the Church's mission of evangelization, for it is in the home that our life of faith is first expressed and nurtured." "Parents," he said, "you are the primary witnesses to your children of the truths and values of our faith: pray with and for your children; teach them by your example of fidelity and joy!"
"Indeed," the Pope continued, "every disciple, spurred on by word and strengthened by sacrament, is called to mission. It is a duty from which no one should shy away, for nothing is more beautiful than to know Christ and to make him known to others! May Our Lady of Guadalupe be your model and guide. God bless you all!"
And so, while we all are prone to falling at times, it is in the getting back up again, that we show the importance of our Faith and Church. As we persevere, so will our children.