(continued from last week, this is from our series on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. This week, instructing the ignorant.) Maggie, mother of three grade schoolers, believes that teaching the Golden Rule is paramount. “There are times when I know one of my children has done something to make someone else feel left out or upset,” Maggie says. “I can draw on their experiences of when this happened to them to remind them that it doesn’t feel good, and they should only treat others how they want to be treated. I am far from perfect myself, but because I teach this to my children so often, I have become much more thoughtful toward others in my words and actions.”
John, father of five, says that his main instruction to his children is to pray at all times. “Often this seems to fall upon deaf ears,” he says. When his daughter was 9, however, she told him that when her class went on a field trip to a Marian shrine, she prayed for a lump that had been on her forehead to go away, and it did.
Whether or not this was a true miracle or just a case of his daughter’s body naturally healing itself wasn’t the point to John. For him, what mattered was that his daughter took her faith seriously enough to pray at the shrine. John was moved that his daughter would have a conversation with God aside from in church or with the family—about something that was a personal concern. “Humbled and grateful, I felt like I had passed on a bit of my own faith to my child,” John says.
Beth and Steve (not their real names) feel that their approach to marriage has taught their children about the sacrament. When the children were younger, the two attended Retrouvaille—a weekend experience for couples in struggling marriages. “We’ve explained to our children that it wasn’t always easy for us to be married. Today we show that our marriage is very important to us by doing things that enrich our marriage at our church or other events,” Steve says. “We also have couples doing marriage preparation at our house while our children are home. Our children see that we respect the sacrament of marriage and want to help these new couples in their journey.”
Instruction leading to transformation—one lesson at a time.
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
We offer very low rates for parish use, as well as our free Moms’ Night Out monthly discussion guides.
And don’t miss our popular single-page parish handouts on handing on the faith, helping kids understand the Mass, Lent, and Advent.