Seeing your children grow up is a blessing. I can still remember my oldest boys playing about like two little cubs and today they are taller than me ...which is not saying much... but still, for me it's very moving.
There is an Italian saying 'Figli piccoli guai piccoli, figli grandi guai grandi'... meaning the worries that we have when our children are little are nothing in comparison to the worries and problems that we come across when they get older.
And that is certainly proving to be true!
Till the age of 10 things tend to be more or less under control. All our children go to a lovely Catholic primary school very close to where we live.
We are surrounded by family and a strong Christian community as the school is part of the Parish. So things run quite smoothly till then, Catholic friends, lovely Catholic parents, a holy headmistress and devoted teachers. Couldn't wish for a better environment where a little Christian can flourish.
Then comes secondary school and things become a little shaky... new, (maybe not so Catholic) friends, parents that you won't ever meet and confused Catholic teachers. So as a parent our great responsibility is to equip them well enough that our children can always choose the Truth and sense and maybe even challenge any unorthodox teaching.
So the struggle begins... the dependence on their phones, the parties that can't be missed, the thousands of outings with their friends, the online computer gaming, the constant need to be connected with their mates 24/7, the silly slang and the NEED to wear the latest fashion and coolest brand.
The world appears to be very attractive and deceives us constantly, making the right path foggy and difficult to walk upon, especially when going against the crowd.
I don't blame them, it's hard to be a Christian in the world of today and for us parents it's easy to feel discouraged and become scared of losing our children along this journey of faith. St Monica is a great example that sincere prayers for our children can bear amazing fruits.
We have been parents of toddlers 5 times and have had to deal with all sorts of difficulties, now we find ourselves at a new stage which at times is very unpleasant... a new experience that requires constant revision.
Our children have been entrusted to us and although the fear of getting it completely wrong is, at times, very present on the other hand it drives us to put our trust in God and to beg for His help and enlightenment!
I know God wants us and all our children to know Him and to reach His Kingdom more than we do, so we must have faith that He will show Himself to them at some point in their life and that they will have a beautiful encounter with Him.
“Thus the little domestic Church, like the greater Church, needs to be constantly and intensely evangelized: hence its duty regarding permanent education in the faith…the family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates…the future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home”
Pope St John Paul II