Catholic Children updated by Mary Bowen on March 13, 2020
There are definite advantages to raising Catholic children. The advantages are seen in the here and now as well as in years to come. It is very possible to have young children who are content, willing and helpful; to have virtuous, prudent, and reasonable teenagers; and to have adult children who bring joy and peace during your closing years.
Children raised in virtue will have a definite head start in life. They will be trained to know, love and serve God. God's laws and the Church's laws bring peace and happiness to those who humbly and obediently obey them. These laws are a guide that keeps people from making bad decisions and painful mistakes.
Catholic parents have the tools necessary to raise children who are good. God has given them all the graces they need through the sacrament of matrimony. The Church has given families devotions and sacramentals that further bestow these priceless graces.
In an even more practical way, the Church has safeguarded and handed down God's laws that help parents confidently teach their children right from wrong.
The lives of the saints and each child's particular patron is an invaluable help to children. Due to the culture, Catholic children may not be surrounded by other holy children but they can be surrounded by heroes from the lives of the saints, literature and history. A Catholic education and home life is invaluable in this regard.
Two sources for developing a child's spiritual life from the earliest of years is Leading the Little Ones to Mary and the Pictorial Lives of the Saints. These along with good example and loving, authoritative parenting set the stage for happy little ones on their path to holiness.
For moms and dads, the results are immediate. Children brought up this way are much more manageable than their more worldly counterparts. Other family members will enjoy and love your children all the more if they are pleasant and cheerful.
Being a Christian takes dedication and love. We must love God with our whole hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves. For moms and dads to be successful and raise children who will someday populate heaven, it takes continually dying to oneself and faithfully living what you are teaching. Frequent prayer and confession will help with this. Don't forget about those graces that ensure your success! God will give you all the graces you will need to persevere.
With proper training, by the time children reach their late teenage years, they will know how to lead pure and holy lives. They will understand the importance of faithfully fulfilling their daily duties in the home, in their studies, and at their place of employment. They will be cheerful and optimistic. They will be childlike but not childish.
This isn't to say that they will be perfect and saints. Like you, they will have trials and temptations but they will have the tools that they learned from studying the lives of the saints and their family devotions to offer up their little sufferings and inconveniences. They will know how to use spiritual weapons to overcome temptations to be moody or lazy.
They will not make the mistakes that their peers will make as they will have developed a relationship with Our Lord and will not want to offend Him. They will understand and avoid temptations especially temptations against purity. This is possible because they will have been taught the laws of God and the laws of the Church. The faithful example shown in the home will be the biggest asset in their ability to choose to do good over evil.
There is an adage: Pay now or pay later. If you put in the effort from the earliest years you are setting your children up for a happy life. This will allow you to enjoy them in their adult years without the torment of worry and grief.
Handing on the true faith in all it's fullness and beauty is the duty each one of us has to fulfill. Parents are especially called upon to put in a colossal effort during the years that they are raising their children.
Obviously your children's adult choices will be out out of your control, but in all likelihood Catholic children will become pure and holy adults...A true joy and reward during your declining years.
Kathleen Bowen is a founding member of IndustriousFamily.com. She is a busy homeschooling mother of ten children with seven currently in school. She loves throwing parties and having fun. She takes great pride in homemaking, gardening, flowers and creating table arrangements.
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