Prayer candles in a church-smallWritten by: Patrick Sullivan

A thought has occurred to me as all thoughts do, when I’d rather not be thinking at all. You see I was putting my children to bed after a long day of idleness when an unplanned and therefore unwelcome self-reflection had come to me.  In essence it revealed how badly I desire that my children grow up and become strong Catholics.

As the reflection persisted I realized that I want my kids to love the Church, the sacraments, the scriptures, the devout life, the kind of friendship that our Lord spoke about and the kind of marriage that makes the angels give standing ovations.  I want my children to strive to be evangelists and saints and coworkers in the truth while they are someone’s coworker in the field or office building.  I want them to find joy in life because it is a gift and I want them to see that children are one of the best gifts that God gives.

‘Yes,’ I thought, ‘I want them to be strong Catholics…’ but then I paused. Reviewing my list I found that my understanding of a strong Catholic simply meant catholic.  Somewhere along the line I had allowed my definition to be skewed and to the point where I have needed modifiers to describe Catholics of the faithful, knowledgeable, charitable and outspoken variety. The name catholic had been hijacked to mean something like, ‘baptized by a Catholic priest.’ No, that would not do for my children.  I want something more.  I want them to be Catholics…even if they happen to be Catholics already.

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