"Some landed among thorns, which grew up and choked it off." —Mark 4:7
Christian parents are rightly and deeply concerned about an unusual phenomenon in the Western world. This phenomenon is the fact that many young people leave the Christian faith in their teenage years. This is unprecedented in Christian history and limited to the Western part of the world.
How can parents prevent this tragedy from continuing? First, we should understand that many young people who have left the external practice of the faith, have never made a personal, total commitment of their lives to the Lord. Therefore, they have not left the faith because they have never accepted the faith (see 1 Jn 2:19).
What about those young people who have accepted the faith? How can their parents prevent the seed of God's word from being choked in their children by the thorns of "anxieties over life's demands, and the desire for wealth, and cravings of other sorts"? (Mk 4:19) Pope John Paul II has given a tremendous insight into protecting our young people from losing their faith. The Pope has taught: "Only by praying together with their children can a father and mother — exercising their royal priesthood — penetrate the innermost depths of their children's hearts and leave an impression that the future events in their lives will not be able to efface" (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, Pope John Paul II, 60).
Parents, pray together daily with your children.
Prayer: Father, may Christians be holy families who pray together.
Promise: "Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before Me; your throne shall stand firm forever." —2 Sm 7:16
Praise: The Browns prayed together as a family and stayed close even as they relocated in several states.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001
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