Monday, September 04, 2006

The challenge of raising "Good Catholic Boys"

I am very thankful for my boys. As much as I wanted to have daughters when I was younger, I truly believe God knew what he was doing when he sent me David and Isaac and now I can't honestly imagine bringing up a little girl (although if that bridge comes someday, I'm sure God will give me the grace to cross it!).

Still, boys have their own challenges, not the least of which is to raise them with their faith intact. Somehow it is more acceptable for girls and women to pray and be involved in church activities. Being a "Good Catholic Boy" is in no way considered cool. I am always impressed when I see teenage and young adult men in Church. They are few and far between but it gives me hope for my own two children that maybe, just maybe, they won't succomb to the societal pressure to toss their faith by the wayside as they get older. Even though I am sending them to Catholic school, I know that pressure will still be there. I went to Catholic school for all of my education and in the process met very few boys involved with their faith. While hopefully they believed in God, most weren't involved with Church at all. I never dated a young man who went to Church of his own accord, although they were willing to go to date me (one of my parents' rules). While I firmly believe I was meant to marry Bernie (I certainly prayed hard enough to make the right decision) and he faithfully if somewhat unenthusiastically comes to Church with us every week, I sometimes think it would have been nice to marry someone who shared my commitment to having a deep relationship with God. Some of my friends at Church have husbands who do have that commitment and I think it is such a wonderful blessing.

That is what I want for my sons. I want them to have an active faith life. I want them to go to Church on Sundays because they want to be there. I want them to give to the poor and do community service because it is the right thing to do. I want them to be proud of their faith and have it be an integral part of who they are. I know I have my work cut out for me, and I know I can't do it alone. I need God's help bigtime, and even with that help, I know that David and Isaac still have free will and may choose a different path. All I can do is pray, provide a good example, and hope for the best.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

And how did the first day of that journey go today?