Have you ever felt like you had been punched in the gut? We have our usual trials and struggles, but then out of nowhere comes something you didn’t see coming. Such was the case this past week. Without getting into any details, it involved my children. I know our children will make mistakes; I know I did and continue to. However, it doesn’t make it easier when they do something that breaks your heart a little. You spend your life trying to teach them right from wrong, good and evil, and to follow the road less traveled. Inevitably though, they will stumble. It is in these moments of weakness though that we can teach them about the power of Christ’s mercy and forgiveness. These moments are opportunities for us as parents to teach them the invaluable life lesson of where to turn when you have lost your way.
After the initial shock, we were able to speak to our kids that were involved in why their choices were wrong. Although I think they already understood they were wrong, sometimes they need assistance in seeing where those missteps can lead if the behaviour continues. At times they can seem so old as their bodies grow, but there is much they have left to learn.
Most importantly, we went to confession as a family. What better place to go than Christ and tell him how sorry we are for the offenses we have committed against him. I know that he welcomed each of my children with open arms. They know their sin has been washed away and they have been given the graces to help them avoid the sin the future.
This process of falling into sin and picking ourselves up is a continual one that I know all too well. I am going to make mistakes, my kids are going to make mistakes, but if I can teach them what to do when these things happen they are equipped for the journey. Learning about forgiveness and mercy are so very important. Learning to continually strive to be the best version of yourself and not allow yourself to wallow in the muck is also something we must pass along.
Objective truth exists. I pray for my children that they always hold true to what is right and good as defined by God and not the world. I pray that no matter how many times they may fall, they have the courage to stand up and turn their eyes back to God. I pray they receive the Sacrament of Penance often so they can have the strength to resist the temptations of this world.
The devil is in a battle for the souls of my children and all our children. I know this in theory, but have been reminded vividly this week. Do I have the fortitude to fight back? Am I willing to make the sacrifices necessary? I can say without doubt that I have a heart that is ready for the battle and know that only with God’s grace will I prevail. JMJ