There is one shortcoming, I stop short of calling it a failure, of the Church Universal in teaching the Faith to those who are growing in their faith (youngsters or the newly professed Catholics): sustainability. RCIA is an excellent greenhouse in which those who discern what it means to be Catholic Universal (all rites) can thrive. The local parish provides such instruction in the form of sessions that allow individuals to address the elements of the Creed and see if this path is for them.

If they are deemed suitable and they judge that they want to profess their faith in The Catholic Way, they are Baptized and Confirmed at the Easter Vigil.

I think the Church could improve by extending the period of simulation of the Faith beyond Baptism in a systematic and formal way. The local Church becomes the context for newly professed or confirmed young believers to grow. The seminarium (greenhouse) takes them to the next level of their journey to love others as Christ loved us. We should not think that, just because a person is baptized, they have received infused knowledge and don’t need to do anything but attend Mass on Sundays.

Hopefully, the seeds of Faith planted at the Easter Vigil and confirmed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit will find rich soil to thrive. The local Church must have, as it continued assistance to parents, those who are the primary caretakers of young spiritual shoots, an awareness that there is no growth without cultivation and keeping out the weeds of life.

Here is what I consider to be the intelligent progression of any Catholic, and by application, what we should be teaching our young with skill sets to combat the seeming boredom of being human. Like Erich Fromm, an existentialist psychologist whose book, The Art of Loving, contain his thoughts that love is an acquired skill and not one we have innately, what follows are learned behaviors from the first teachers of each of us, our parents.

HOW TO GROW DEEPER IN THEIR FAITH THROUGH CONTEMPLATION— How can you share with your children that there is a place inside them where they must learn to go daily where they meet Jesus in the silence and solitude of their hearts. Contemplation is a way to communicate with God through the Holy Spirit by listening and waiting. It is a skill that needs to be mastered and not automatically given to you when you are Baptized.

THE COST OF BEING CATHOLIC AND THE REWARDS — How do you explain to your children that to follow Christ, they must die to their false self, and what that means, plus tolerance for the struggle that we all face when the world challenges us?

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CROSS ON YOUR FOREHEAD— How do you demonstrate the link between the cross of your Baptism and how it is the basis for prayer and behaviors that lead to loving others as Christ loved us?

YOU ARE AN ADOPTED SON OR DAUGHTER OF THE FATHER. YOU INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The value of being an adopted son or daughter of the Father is core to what it means to be a citizen of heaven because of your Baptism. What does God expect of his followers

THE STRUGGLE OF TWO CITIZENSHIPS. ONE GETS YOU TO HEAVEN. How do you show your children that there are two citizenships they hold, one earthy and one being adopted sons and daughters of the Father?

As strange as it may seem, we can learn from the polar bear how to transfer behaviors that make each of us uniquely human. Polar bear moms teach by doing with their cubs. If you don’t believe in Jesus, way down deep, your children pick up on what you hold as your center.

  • Parents need to talk to their children about WHY they love Jesus and not be ashamed to confess Christ before others.
  • Parents need to be unified in their beliefs by discussing how they want their children to have their heritage.
  • Parents who are split believers and nonbelievers need to be upfront with their children about what that means.
  • Parents need to show that they believe in the Trinity and how attending Eucharist is an act where we bring Jesus into our hearts and minds with all our strength. It is food to make us solid and resistant to the lures of the Devil.
  • Parents need to show their children how the Ten Commandments help us to keep centered on having Christ as our center.
  • Parents need to show their children that no one is perfect but that they need to seek forgiveness by using the Sacrament of Reconciliation as part of a way of life.
  • How the Rosary makes Christ real in your heart.
  • Read Chapter 4 of St. Benedict’s Rule daily and make it real.
  • A love for the Eucharist and the Real Presence.
  • How to pray Lectio Divina.
  • How to have a routine of spirituality.
  • How the Devil can sneak up on you if you are not aware.
  • Parents must show their children what it means to have Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
  • Parents must give their children the skills to be what they read when they use the Scriptures.
  • Parents must impart to their children how to address The Divine Equation in their lives:
  • What is the purpose of life?
  • What is their purpose of life within that purpose?
  • How does reality look?
  • How does reality fit together?
  • How do you love fiercely?
  • You know you are going to die; now what?

Who teaches parents how to be the best of teachers in the Faith? The answers have always been there, but we are unaware of what is in front of us. Do you know the most frequent words to St. Peter are for people knocking at the pearly gates? “Nobody ever told me that before?” If you are one of those who would say that to St. Peter, you need conversio morae (daily conversion of life).


%d bloggers like this: