I'm so happy to introduce Woodeene Koenig-Bricker to you. Woodeene Koenig-Bricker is an award-winning Catholic author and editor. She has published with Our Sunday Visitor, Word Among Us, Ave Maria, Loyola, and Harpers, as well as having been the editor of Catholic Parent magazine. She has a particular fondness for saints and her most recent book, Facing Adversity with Grace looks at ways the saints dealt with the same kinds of suffering we all face, such as financial worries, physical illness, worry, grief and aging. She lives in Oregon where she loves the summers and grumbles about the endless winter rain. Woodeene blogs more or less regularly at www.woodeene.blogspot.com and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
I suspect Woodeene's first post at "Catholic Moms Talk" will give us all something to think about regarding passing on the faith to our children and may even lift a bit of guilt off our shoulders.
The Faith and Our Children
Passing our faith on to our children is one of the challenges all of us face as parents. To listen to some people, all of whose kids have remained in the Church, talk about how they made sure they attended Mass as a family, said prayers together etc. and that’s the reason their kids have remained Catholic can make us feel like a failure when we did all the same things and one or more of our children have stopped practicing the faith.
The truth is that passing on the faith isn’t like baking a cake. There isn’t a list of ingredients that, if you mix them in the right order and bake for the appropriate amount of time, will produce perfect results. You can do everything you are supposed to do and it still isn’t a guarantee that your children will remain Catholic, or even Christian.
That’s because, as the Catechism points out, “To be human, man's response to God by faith must be free, and. . . therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act.”
Faith is a free act. It has to be or it wouldn’t be faith.
In the end, we really don’t pass the faith to our children. We offer it to them and they either accept or reject it. It is their choice. To take credit for the faith of our children, especially our adult children, just isn’t ours to take. (No matter how perfectly we mixed the cake.)
Anymore than it is ours to accept the blame when they reject it. (No matter how imperfectly we mixed the cake.)
~Woodeene Koenig-Bricker blogs at www.woodeene.blogspot.com. Her latest book is Facing Adversity with Grace, Lessons from the Saints, from Word Among Us Press.