Skip to comments.A Question For Your Children
Posted on 05/04/2013 6:32:15 AM PDT by NYer
As a professional Catholic speaker I have the opportunity to visit dozens of parishes every year. In addition to giving general parish talks, I am sometimes asked if I would be willing to speak to the children in the parish school. I always welcome the opportunity, especially when speaking to the lower grades. Having five young children of my own, I am quite comfortable around them.
Whenever I have the occasion to speak with the children, I always ask for a show of hands if they have ever been asked by a grownup the following question:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Invariably, all hands go up. They hear the question a lot! I then ask them to share with me their answers. Some want to be doctors, while others want to be firefighters. Some of them want to be professional dancers, while others want to be veterinarians. The list goes on an on. I have so much fun listening to them share their young and adventurous aspirations.
Once I have fielded a variety of their answers, I ask if an adult has ever posed to them a different question:
What does GOD want you to be when you grow up?
In all of my years of asking this question, never once has a single hand ever been raised.
I follow up with the children by asking them what they think God is calling every one of them to be when they grow up? What does God want all of his children to be?
I then ask them to think about Jesus and all of the the things that He taught us when he was here on earth. What did Jesus teach us about what God wants each of us to be?
The answers usually vary:
"God wants me to be a good person."
"God wants me to be his follower."
"God wants me to be his disciple."
I usually keep fielding their responses until someone answers,
"God wants me to be a saint."
I then spend the rest of my time unpacking with them what it means to be a saint and friend of God, and how we all share this universal call to holiness. I share this wonderful vision with them from Scripture, the Catechism, and from the lives of young saints, and I must tell you...they eat it up!
After laying out this basic catechesis for them, I conclude by asking them to share what they learned with their parents and siblings and to ask them for their help as they strive to be holy.
Over the years, I have heard from many of the parents of these children, sharing with me how they were profoundly touched, challenged, and even convicted by what their children shared with them. For many, it served to remind them that they are the primary teachers of the Faith and spiritual formators of their children. It served to motivate them to deepen their own spiritual life and knowledge of the faith so as to be better witnesses to their children. What a blessing indeed.
How about your children? Do they know what God wants them to be when they grow up? If not, it's never too early or too late to teach them.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Hector Molina is a dynamic lay Catholic speaker and apologist with over 20 years of experience in professional pastoral ministry and leadership in the Church. It was during his early years as a Youth Minister that Hector discerned his call to lay ecclesial ministry. He pursued his theological ...
This is excellent. I will keep it in mind for my RCIA’ers, who come in all ages from 18 to 70-ish, and who need to seriously discern what God wants from them (as do we all!!)
I’m seriously considering becoming Catholic. I’ve been watching the RCIA classes online from William Saunders who is the pastor at Our Lady of Hope in Potomac Falls, Va. I wanted to see what I’d be in for if I went to the classes. Or when I do I could be the smartest kid in class. :)
What about the answer, “God wants me to serve him in my vocation?”
Whether that vocation be married life, consecrated religious life, the priesthood or diaconate or single life?
We welcome you.
As a member of my parish RCIA Teaching Team, I can say we'll give you a strong introduction (or re-introduction) to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the basics of Creed, Commandments and Sacraments. I don't know whether all the Parishes/Dioceses use basically the same RCIA format or not: I do know our own lesson plans vary (slightly) from year to year, though we zero in on the basics. We strongly believe the best way to teach doctrine is: to teach doctrine.
As a teacher the one thing I would beg from you and practically demand of you: ask questions. Imagine that in 72 point font size. ASK QUESTIONS. Nothing gratifies a teacher more; nothing benefits wannabe Catholics more; and it will be appreciated by the other members of the class, too, who were thinking that same question, pert'near, but didn't quite have the gumption to ask it.
I would be willing to entertain any and all questions on FR threads or by FR Private Message,at any time.
You can see I'm enthused. Yay!
Will keep you in my prayers! No doubt you have already discovered EWTN's program The Journey Home which airs on Monday nights at 8pm. Host Marcus Grodi also maintains an excellent site, The Coming Home Network, which offers a wealth of resources for seekers, including a forum.
May our Lord bless you on your journey!
My husband became Catholic through RCIA a number of years ago. He is very grateful, but would say that it is not like a package or kit which contains all the answers. Rather, it gets you started on your life of learning more and living within the Catholic community.
I’m happy for you. My husband has a vastly better and more contented, and holier, life than he would have had, had he not taken the step of starting the RCIA process over 20 years ago.
Thanks for this! My wife runs our parish’s Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and she loved the article.
“unpacking” ech! how trendy a term is that