Sense of Life. Articles in English. Set Your Children a Good Example.
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Set Your Children a Good Example


Having spent two years in Italy, I have come to appreciate the value of faith. Thanks to my faith in God I now enjoy a life that is both beautiful and meaningful. In July of 2000 I came to a lovely spot called Ravello where contact with scenic nature raised me to spiritual heights.

I lived and breathed the beauties of creation and the Creator. It was there, in one of the churches, that I came across a letter written by parents to their children. I have read it many times and think it is worth citing:  

Dear Children,

Forgive us for teaching you that happiness consists in one’s work and career.

Forgive us for giving you money and things instead of godly values.

Forgive us for teaching you the easy way instead of the true way of faith.

Forgive us for devoting more time to criticizing than to setting a good example. 

Forgive us for choosing to pursue money so as to earn a few extra pennies.

Forgive us for never finding the time to give you our full attention, to talk to you, pray with you and have fun together.

Forgive us for taking the wrong road, for increasing our worldly goods while cheating you of love.

Forgive us for not passing on to you the most precious thing — faith in God. 

I am 25 years old. My life has been no bed of roses. My father drank and I have been seriously ill. But thanks to my mother’s deep faith we got through these hardships. My mother was a plain and simple woman. But she loved God. Whenever I think back to my childhood I am overcome with sadness. So many sleepless nights. Lack of money to meet our basic needs. Shame over my alcoholic father. And then my illness — epilepsy. I could never have managed if it had not been for my mother’s faith. I saw in her a model of patience and hope. To this day I see her starting each day rosary in hand, meditating on the gospel mysteries. Whenever she left for work it was with a prayer on her lips. It was so beautiful watching our mother. There was something very special about her. She loved God with all her heart and because of this she was able to bear the heavy cross that life burdened her with. By watching her, I learned to imitate her.

When I was 13, I began to suffer from epileptic seizures. My world changed dramatically and if it had not been for the divine strength that flowed to me through daily prayer, I’m sure I would have committed some stupidity or other. I found my illness to be an impossible burden. But in those difficult moments I did have God — my Friend, Lord and Savior. I also had my mother’s support, her prayers and hopes. And so life was more bearable. In time I learned that Jesus required this smidgen of salvific suffering from me. I thought of becoming a nun, but my vocation lay in marriage.

I am now a happily married woman. My husband and I are expecting a baby. I pray that my child will love God above all things; that he or she will walk in His ways and live the Gospel joyfully. This is what I want for our child, since this is what will make him or her happy, even as I am happy.

My life has meaning today thanks in large part to my mother. For this reason I appeal to all parents: raise your children in the faith, set them a good example in the way you live. Live a life in which God has pride of place! In these days of moral laxity and unbridled consumerism, families need to pray daily and live the Gospel values. In doing so they protect themselves from sin and evil, and help their children weather the hardships that life will burden them with. There is no other way of enjoying a good and happy life.

Grazyna

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The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!"

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