Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Slippery Slope of Spirituality

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If you aren't moving forward spiritually you are slipping back.  

This was a statement, a reality, a truth, that I came upon during my RCIA classes. It may have been in a book, or it may have come from a speaker.  But I loved the quote because it highlights the danger of being luke-warm in our faith- we show up to church usually and check the attendance box.  Gone to church? Yup. I am done for the week. I am a good Christian.

We all think we are more pious than we really are.  Closer reflection and prayer leads us to a more accurate assessment - reality.

For instance, I am a far cry from my monthly confession goal.  I like to think of myself putting my faith first, but there is a concrete example of me NOT doing that.  And facts are facts.

Our need to have an accurate understanding of our own spiritual life is even more important when we are raising children.

If we don't set the prime example, if we skip mass, if we don't take them to their catechesis classes or have them involved in ministry or service work, what baseline are we setting for them? Our hearts pull us closer to the church and we make excuses- no confession this week because we have that birthday party and the soccer game and there just isn't time.

The kids don't ever see the pull, the evaluation, the careful mental negotiation- all they see is the end result (confession, mass, volunteering, or birthday parties and soccer games). Of course we want to let them go to birthday parties, but sometime we need to say no and choose something that is better for them. We need to ask "what do they gain from this experience?", and "Is it worth all the running around to achieve that goal?".

Stuff is going to slide- so what do you want to be the "stuff" that slides?

As parents we have to establish the baseline - then add to that. For our family, baseline is mass on Sundays, boy involved in one ministry each (liturgical reading, altar serving), and my husband and I are each in a small group, and we adopt-a-family each Christmas. We can't do any less than that, but we can add to in comes daily mass when we can, journaling, Jesse Tree during advent most years, praying the rosary occasionally, frequent confession. For many, our extras are their baseline- and that is okay. We do what we can, when we can. Maybe someday I can get to that point too. But having outlined things that are "essential and non negotiable" gives me a solid footing to build upon as we try to grow in Christ as a family.

So I ask you, what is your baseline? What are you reaching towards? What is helping you grow closer to Christ and how are you helping your children to grow closer to Him as well? Because after all if you aren't helping them move forward spiritually you are holding them back.

Thanks for stopping by!
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