Episode 45: Igniting the Faith in Our Children

Episode 45: Igniting the Faith in Our Children

Episode 45: Igniting the Faith in Our Children 1920 1080 Catholic Parents Online

Episode 45: Igniting the Faith in Our Children

It is our primary duty as Catholic parents to share the beauty of the faith we have with our children. How do we go about doing this? We discuss what faith is and how we can transmit it more effectively to our children, as we continue to fulfil our mission as priest, prophet and king in our family.


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One afternoon while our grandchildren were at play, one of them used a toy crocodile to chase a T-rex, threatening to bite off its tail.

Playing along with them, I quipped, “Oh no! Who’s going to save the T-rex from the crocodile?”

Out of the blue, our youngest grandchild, who was about two years old then, took out a little Jesus plush toy and said, “Jesus!”

We have shared how we could help our children find happiness, first, by having a deep relationship with God in faith, and also, by living the virtues in loving as God loves. Let’s talk about faith.

What is faith? The late Pope Benedict XVI said, “Faith is first and foremost a personal, intimate encounter with Jesus. It is having an experience of His closeness, His friendship and His love, and it is in this way that we learn to know Him ever better, to love Him and to follow Him more and more.”

In other words, faith is not just knowing about God. It is about knowing God. It is about receiving Him Who is Love into us, experiencing Him in our inmost being, and responding to Him as He has called us to.

How can our children have that encounter with Jesus?

First and foremost, through us, their parents, in and through our bodies, in our expressions, our words, our actions, our time and attention given to them. If we do not radiate the love of God to our children and share His love with them, it will be that much more difficult for them to understand, experience and appreciate God’s love.

How can we do that? First of all, through bonding with them, and loving them as God loves. This is just so important in their first experience of God’s unconditional love. We can do this through various ways, such as affirming their goodness and preciousness in our eyes and of course God’s eyes, as God has made them; making time for them, being there for them not just physically in our bodies but also emotionally and spiritually; communicating well with them, empathising with them, forgiving one another as soon as someone has been hurt, and so on.

Only when this bonding is in place will the little nuggets of faith that we want to share with them in age-appropriate ways make sense to them.

Spiritual Life

Besides bonding well with our children, there is another important way in which we can help our children experience God and thus have their faith nourished. And this is by nourishing our own faith and relationship with God, through prayer, scripture and the sacraments.

We cannot give our children what we do not have. From all the mistakes and falls, some really big ones I have had so far as a parent and now as a grandparent, I can tell you for sure: we cannot transmit the faith without God by our side, guiding us and loving us. We are totally reliant on His grace and mercy.

As our children grow older, the way we transmit our faith will evolve. They will ask more questions, and we should encourage them to do so. They may have doubts — that’s not uncommon, which also means we will have to know our faith better in order to address these more effectively. We should make use of the rich resources available to help us in this area.

Whatever happens, let us always be there for our children to turn to whenever they need to, and let us remember to pray always, entrusting our mission as Catholic parents to our Lord and Saviour, without Whom we can do nothing. Absolutely nothing.

As Pope St Paul VI said: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers. And if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” As parents, we are called to be teaching witnesses — or is that witnessing teachers?