Grab Your Candles

So my eleven year old came home from school the other day sad, confused, and perplexed.  At his age one would think it had to do with girls, but today it had to do with with religion and his friends.  One of his good friends claimed that he wasn’t Christian because Catholics aren’t Christians.  My son in his infant wisdom on the Church argued that he was Christian and in fact Catholics are the 1st Christians (good job!), but he couldn’t convince his friend.  In fact, the teacher had to separate the kids in class because the argument got heated with no budging.  Then as I probed more into the conversation he was having with his friends, I discovered that my son regularly talks to his friends about religion (what 11 year old does this?).  In the past he has argued infant baptism, sacrament of reconciliation, and salvation just to name a few things.  Today his sad conclusion to the entire situation is that yes the Catholic Church has the fullness of faith, but they (protestant Christians) were more on “fire”.  He even criticized me for not being on “fire” enough.  He claims that I need to talk about Jesus more with my friends and let them know their errors and defend our faith.  OUCH!!!

Well that was a kick in the stomach.  In some ways he is right, I could be more on “fire”, and in other ways he is way off base.  My husband and I are not apologists, but if a debate comes up, we certainly could defend Catholic Church teaching.  As a couple we have preferred to “preach the Gospel at all times and use words if necessary” (St. Francis? although I heard he never said this).  We have quietly lived our Catholic Christian faith instead of boldly preaching/debating with others.  We thought this was a softer approach and didn’t alienate any family and friends who did not believe.  So many people “preach”, we thought walking the walk was enough.

My son’s remarks reminded me that I need to do a better job of sharing my personal faith with him.  He doesn’t read what I post on my blog about Jesus and Grace.  I don’t share with him that I am quietly praying for a close friend to convert.  I don’t let him know the reason I bring blessed palm leaves to our neighbor (former Catholic)  every Palm Sunday, is that I hope they return to their Catholic Church.  I need to share with him the subtle ways that I go about my evangelization.  I need to show him that I am on “fire” for Jesus and that He is the center of my life.  With that being said, I need to do more talking!  It’s time for this family to be unapologetically Catholic.  I am not talking about going door to door engaging people, but not holding our tongues when our Church and Faith is criticized.  I need to offer the truth about Jesus to those around me who need to hear the message. I need to take a lesson from my son on how to be bold and talk with friends about our church.  I need to show my son that Catholics are just as on “fire” for our Lord as our protestant counterparts.

I am on board and so is my husband, but are you fellow Catholics? Can we be the light that our church and people of other denominations need?  Do we hear what Blessed Pope John Paul II said at World Youth Day 2000?  “If you are what you should be, you can set the world on fire.”  It’s a group effort I think.  I don’t want my son to be anymore discouraged then when he came home the other day.  Our Church has the fullness of Jesus Christ.  We need to get excited and unite all Christians together and restore the Body of Christ.  Yes, live your faith, but let’s not forget to speak too!

Need inspiration?  Listen to this song, Go Light Your World by Kathy Troccoli

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3 thoughts on “Grab Your Candles

  1. I am an ex-Protestant and I love this story. Seems your 11 year old is very wise and has a very special calling on his life. Explain if you can this to him. Tell him I was once “on fire,” and the way they are meaning it, can be very hurtful and long suffering. That very few that are “on fire” have humility, his friends are a good example of it. They tell others they are “not Christians” all the time, because of the Church they go to, no matter how bad it hurts someone’s feelings. Some tell people they are “going to hell” because of their Church and sins, and in doing so they are playing God, as only God can judge the soul. Tell him I have a friend “on fire” who gave all their money away so God would make them rich, and now they are very poor. Tell him some pray very loud, dance, and clap their hands, singing in joy and “on fire” for God, but when something bad happens to them because they are not Catholic, they do not know how to handle it. They cry and become very sad, and ask God, “Why did you let this happen?” Because they are not Catholic they do not know how to suffer and be sad. Tell him being “on fire” for God does not mean hurting others, then ask him. “How did it make you feel when they hurt your feelings?” Explain to him, that is what they mean by the words “being on fire” and God wants us to “love.” I feel for what they did to him, as I have it done to me all the time by “friends” also. I hope this helps him to understand a little better. God Bless, SR

    • Thank you for your kind words! Indeed my son does have a special calling, that will be revealed in God’s time. My job is to keep fostering his faith. God Bless!

  2. I am sure the wonderful mother you are, his “faith” will be “fostered” very well. At 11 he seems as if he is a remarkable young man. I am sure you had a hand in that! 🙂 God Bless, SR

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