Friday, September 18, 2009

Deepening Faith-Building Good Character

Every human being is intended to have a character of his own: to be what no others are and to do what no other can do.   William Channing

One spiritual writer put it this way (and I paraphrase), "The world doesn't need another Mother Teresa, the world needs you to be the best you can be and reach your full potential." I would add- to develop your gifts and talents, be united to God's will for you and do good. 
I gave a talk last night to parents to try to help them understand and remind them of the importance of deepening faith in their children and intentionally fostering their spiritual and religious development. I love when I give a talk and parents come up to me afterwards and say, "We needed to hear that, to be reminded of that." The suggestions I give them, which I've been gathering from books I've read such as "52 Simple Ways To Talk With Your Kids About Faith-Opportunities for Catholic Families to Share God's Love," by Jim Campbell make good sense to them, they know instinctively these suggestions will be good for their children. 
The problem is today children are involved in many extra-curricular activities such as sports and it is difficult for the most well meaning parents to fit everything in. 
I know what parents want for their children, they are the same things I wanted for my children. We want our children to be well-adjusted, successful, kind, compassionate human beings who are drawn to good, and lead fulfilling lives. Instilling Christian values in children fosters positive human development. It works, I know it, I've lived it. I've read the studies too, but I place a high value on experience as well. 
Children and adults need balance in their lives, especially in these hectic, fast-paced times we're living through. We all need time for quiet, solitude, rest, prayer and a relationship with God. It's healthy and necessary. I love to connect with Catholic parents, to feel they are in agreement with what I'm saying to them. Parents today need to be reminded of the value and importance of religious instruction and prayer and the benefits of giving their children faith experiences.