In response to a question asked by one of our RCIA Candidates we first asked our some of our moms to answer the question: what does it look like to thread our faith through each facet of our lives? What does it look like to parent catholic and to work as a catholic and to not allow ourselves to put other things in front of God? Now we turn to the dads to give their insight. These are their answers.
Interesting that I am writing this on the same day (May 1, 2020) as the conversion of St. Paul. Not that I am likening myself to the persecution that Saul inflicted on Christians, but for many years of my life I was a fallen away Catholic and looking back, I would say I wasn’t even a good Christian. When we moved my daughter to SMOY, she asked us to go to Church which was presided over by the late Fr. James Brooks. It was my Pentecost moment. I was given a grace of often being filled by the Holy Spirit and I am reminded of the parable of the lost sheep:
Luke 15: 1- 7 The tax collector and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them. So, to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the 99 in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep”. I tell you in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over the one sinner who repents than over the 99 righteous people who have no need for repentance.
There are a number of distractions Catholic men face these days professionally, personally and spiritually. These ongoing distractions take us away from what should be our main goal in life which is to get our families and ourselves to Heaven. I have found that I need to be disciplined in my faith life. In the midst of the Corona pandemic, I have found that there are many things I have of comfort which I am missing, and it is like being shipwrecked without even having been on a ship. Days blend together and it is increasingly more difficult by not having weekly Mass, which for many of us beyond the Eucharist, helps us prepare ourselves for the week spiritually. Starting my day in prayer and daily reading continues to be beneficial to the stress levels I feel. I routinely stay involved in virtual meetings of fellow parishioners that help strengthen me spiritually.
Raising kids in the Catholic faith also presents challenges. We have been through the battles and understand the pitfalls of the evil one. We want to help our children understand the beauty of our Catholic faith and want them to experience God’s love. Much like our lives, there are too many distractions in the world that present obstacles. There are things we can do to help our children regardless of the stage of life they are in. The first is to understand that it is their faith walk and God has a plan for them. It’s not our plan, it’s His. Get involved in the Church. I’ve made many friends through Church and school that have helped me grow my faith. If you’re involved already, reach out to others to get involved. Invitation is one of the most important aspects of evangelizing. We all want to be wanted and being asked to be a part of something is a fulfilling. Now it gets harder. Witness to your kids about what God has done for you in your life. I know you might think they know it because they see you every day, but do they? Pray that God will put people in their life that will bring them closer to the faith. I tend to be a better person when I surround myself with those I think are more holy than me and it makes me desire to be more holy myself. Lastly, have a personal relationship with God. Think about the best relationships in your life. You have most undoubtedly spent a lot of time with these people. Why would God be any different?! When you spend time with God, you get to know Him better and develop a deeper relationship with Him.
I wish you all well. God bless you and your families!
Guest Post Written By: Chris Gauche
Part 3 will be posted on May 20, 2020