On the day of their children’s baptism, parents promise to “accept the responsibility of training” their children “in the practice of the faith.” This responsibility is to be their “constant care.” Parents are to “see that the divine life which God gives them (their children) is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts.” Let us reflect on these words to understand what they mean for parents today.
First, in order to accept the responsibility of training their children in the practice of the faith, parents must both practice and have knowledge of the faith. Today parents are blessed with easy access to
the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), and faith formation programs for parents and adults. More important than materials, though, is the desire to deepen one’s knowledge of the faith by reading Scripture and the Catechism, and participating in various programs offered by our parishes or the diocese. Knowledge of the faith is something that continues to grow and deepen and is never complete until we enter into the fullness of eternal life. Hence the “constant care” for your own personal faith life will carry over to the “constant care” for your children’s faith lives.
Good questions for us to ponder in our hearts are:
• How well do I know and practice my faith?
• How often do I read the Bible or the Catechism, which are the essential sources for knowing the faith?
• How often do I learn more from some Catholic newspaper or periodical?
• How often do I participate in adult faith formation programs?
• How well do I know and understand the virtues and explain them to my children?
• If my children are in sacramental preparation, how much time do I spend each week teaching them how to pray, helping them memorize prayers or making it my “constant care” to ensure that
Knowledge of the faith is something that continues to grow and deepen and is never complete until we enter into the fullness of eternal life.
• How much time do we spend in prayer as a family?