How to keep a family devoutly Catholic?
#21
(07-17-2013, 09:45 PM)MorganHiver Wrote: I grew up in a family that *tried* to go to church for the holidays only and this was wrong, obviously. How do you fishies with families keep your families faithful? Do/did you read child friendly versions of the gospels to your kids? How about teenagers and spouses? Please discuss.

I don't have a magic formula Morgan, but I can tell you what happened to our family:

We were lukewarm Catholics, church-on-Sundays-only. Around 2007-8, I started wearing the Miraculous Medal and praying a daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00pm in my car (I'm a travelling saleswoman) to petition for resolution of problems at work and for a family member's soul. In early 2010, I received a bonus which afforded me travel to Europe. I thought to make it a Catholic pilgrimage--my late mom didn't live long enough to go on one & expressed regret about that. So I went with my teen daughter since my husband couldn't take off from work.

At first, she went for the adventure of travel but halfway through she changed. We went to mass at shrines daily, said rosaries on the bus, viewed historical relics, places and miracles. We saw the real Shroud of Turin. This was an adult pilgrimage, not one geared for teens!  There was much fasting, discipline, and taking communion on the knees without kneelers!

When we got home 15 days later, she cried because she didn't want to go back to public school. She said upon returning that it seemed like her peers and the atmosphere of the school was vulgar. She started praying for their conversion. On her own, she gave up Runescape and online games. She trashed all her rap and screamer music. She purged her closet of immodest jeans. She told me God was with her on pilgrimage the whole time and wanted to go back to Europe. She had matured beyond her 13 years in just two weeks. She's 17 now and is already going to college. She has nothing in common with her secular peers anymore, and not even the Catholic homeschoolers. She's very devout and says daily rosaries. She has also seen the path of drugs and sex in school, so she's very knowing. But she has an adult level of maturity with much self-discipline far beyond her years. She's totally serious about her exams, graduated early cum laude and wants to be a Catholic journalist

Shortly after the pilgrimage, I quit my Novus Ordo parish and started going to mass at a conservative shrine. I started going to confession monthly instead of every 2 years. My daughter and husband followed. After that, I signed myself up for weekly adoration. A month later, my daughter did the same. A year later, my husband did. Then we began nightly family rosaries. Now we are going to a Latin mass, wearing 5-fold scapulars & chapel veils, and eating fish on Fridays. We took the Monfort consecration as a family. We joined this blog and are trying to learn what we weren't taught in catechism class.

What can I say? God must have stepped in. If we hadn't gone on pilgrimage, none of this would have happened. When I think about how we've changed as a family, it shocks me. That is all.
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#22
(07-18-2013, 11:23 AM)dark lancer Wrote: The kids' friends will most likely be alienated by the kids' religious zealotry.  From my experience, not-so-religious people think that zealots are people who go to Mass regularly and don't disagree with Church teachings.  At some point they'll have to choose between friends and religion, and religion usually loses.

I know, right? That's the first thing that happened to my daughter. Her atheist best friend broke up with her over the internet during the pilgrimage!!! And her other 2 friends, both lapsed Catholics, dropped her after we got home. None of these 3 friends knew of each other, only my daughter. There is no coincidence in this.

My daughter is very lonely. She has a few Catholic homeschooled friends, but they tend to be clannish and exclude her. Possibly they think she's too mature for them.  In my daughter's case, religion is winning.

As for BVM consecration, not so much. My husband, daughter and I are doing fine. My two brothers are not. One became transgendered and the other quit going to church long ago. He is divorced. My mother had done the consecrations at birth. So far, mine is the only one that bore fruit. I'm praying for their conversions, so we'll see what happens. But ultimately the soul has free will and can reject the grace.

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#23
(07-20-2013, 11:08 AM)lauermar Wrote:
(07-18-2013, 11:23 AM)dark lancer Wrote: The kids' friends will most likely be alienated by the kids' religious zealotry.  From my experience, not-so-religious people think that zealots are people who go to Mass regularly and don't disagree with Church teachings.  At some point they'll have to choose between friends and religion, and religion usually loses.

I know, right? That's the first thing that happened to my daughter. Her atheist best friend broke up with her over the internet during the pilgrimage!!! And her other 2 friends, both lapsed Catholics, dropped her after we got home. None of these 3 friends knew of each other, only my daughter. There is no coincidence in this.

My daughter is very lonely. She has a few Catholic homeschooled friends, but they tend to be clannish and exclude her. Possibly they think she's too mature for them.  In my daughter's case, religion is winning.

I think there is a difference between zealotry and possessing the spiritual virtue of zeal.  Perhaps zealotry = the virtue of zeal - the virtue of prudence.  When I had my conversion, some of my secular friends stopped hanging out with me because I was constantly bringing up religion even when no one was discussing it.  I think I discussed it in a way that was probably genuinely irritating at the time.  I had a long way to go in the humility dept (still do).  I cut out a lot of my secular music and tried switching to Christian rock, which is kind of like the Sanka of music.  I made every discussion into a religious debate.  From what I've encountered, a lot of converts go through such a phase, as do lukewarm cradle Catholics who become devout on a retreat.

To some degree, I needed to distance myself from secular friends, secular music, and secular everything and focus on growing closer to God.  Despite being in my 20's, I was a babe in Christ and I had a lot to learn, and a lot of that is easier when you don't have as many worldly distractions.  But you can't spend your entire life on retreat.  You need to go back into the world and fight.  And in order to fight the spiritual battles well, you need to learn how to spread the faith as well as how NOT to spread the faith.

The Catholic guys I hung out with were all "pipe, pint & a prayer" types who liked to drink, smoke and talk theology, usually at the same time.  It was great, until I became very ill and couldn't digest any food or alcohol and I couldn't be around smoking.  As soon as I stopped being 'fun' to hang out with, my Catholic "brotherhood" was gone.  My wife was friends with their wives and as soon as a lot of her free time became wrapped up in taking care of me, their wives were MIA too.  So much for church community.  Sometimes they'd post on my Facebook wall saying they were praying for me, but that was the extent of the friendship.  I since gave up Facebook because if people really cared, they would have come visited me.  These friends only came over if there was a party.

Ironically, the only friends that have stayed in touch have been my non-Catholic friends.  They are the ones who staged a poker night in my hospital room, stop by the house to play chess, help my wife by picking up groceries and doing home repairs.  We all still have lively debates about politics and religion, but are more mature about it now.  I have stopped trying to turn every discussion into a religious debate and instead simply try to live my religion.  So many problems in our society stem from modernism's rejection of the spiritual value of suffering.  I can talk until I am blue in the face (and I have) or I can show them the meaning of suffering and also that I am not afraid of dying (which I'm sure I would be if I were secular).

One of the most important lessons on friendship can be learned by looking at Christ on the Cross.  Jesus' disciples were there for all the miracles and wonders but when it was time for him to suffer and die, all but one disappeared.  It is great to have friends in this life but when life gets difficult, God is the only friend you need.
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#24
Wow. The only real friends my daughter has left are two lovely Muslim girls who are culturally assimilated. Meaning, they practice their faith but don't wear burkas and hijabs. They were the only ones who sent congrats and attended her high school graduation.

Not sure what you mean by how to "not practice the faith?" My daughter is the quiet type, tends to avoid debate or proselytize. She was loathe to do it during her conversion, fearing like she would offend. I was the zealous one who had that problem and now must learn to hold back. Some days I swing so far the other way, I actually regress to being lukewarm on Catholicism again.


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#25
It is a difficult balance to find, I think, being in the world but not of the world.  My wife is "the quiet type" too and I think she lost some friends simply for having the beliefs she has.  One of her friends told her she just couldn't be friends with someone who wasn't pro choice.  Oh well, their loss. Not everyone is going to like you but it still stings.

Some of my orthodox Jewish friends from childhood have been better able to understand our beliefs on modesty and birth control, so I could see why Muslims might be more understanding than secular people.
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#26

My two cents:

1) The Sacraments and prayer

2) Enrich family life with the customs practiced throughout the liturgical year

3) Read a lot and encourage your kids to read a lot.

4) Make sure your kids have hobbies and serious interests. Encourage them in those things. Have lots of things around to incite interest in music, art, engineering, whatever.

5) Don't get rid of the TV, but watch it with them and limit it a LOT. Same with other screens, video games, etc.

6) Know the difference between innocence and ignorance. Don't let your kids grow up ignorant of what the world's like, what's going on, popular culture, etc. They can know what's up without wallowing in it. If you make your kids feel socially awkward, they could well go out of their way to prove just how "cool" they are. Making sure they don't feel like idiots goes to fashion also. Don't dress your kid up like Laura Ingalls and expect them to be OK about it when they're old enough to be aware of the stares. One can be modest and fashionable.

7) Have a sense of humor and use it a lot.

8) Emotionally affirm your children. If you don't, they'll look for it elsewhere, often in ways that aren't healthy or moral. Be straight-up, honest, realistic, a good listener, a good conversation starter with them, non-prudish, etc. Treat your kids like individuals and nurture their individual gifts and talents.

9) Expose your kids to beauty and nature. Point things out to them, teach them about what's going on out there, get them books that help them appreciate art and nature so they have a sense of wonder and awe.

10) Teach your kids to have a sense of rootedness in History -- having a sense of belonging in a bigger story that has a beginning with Creation, and an ending with the Return of Christ.

11) Give them heroes, including but not limited to the Saints.

12) Have extended family around you if you can and teach them your family's history.

13) Help them have social lives with decent kids. Harder to do nowadays, but important.

14) As soon as a kid can do something for himself, have him do it. Nothing is more sad than a kid treating his parents like servants. He can get off his ass and get his own fork if he can walk and reach the drawer, etc.  Have them clean up after themselves, even when they're babies. Teach, teach, teach them to assume responsibility and to work for what they want.

15) Use sound, reasonable, merciful, and CONSISTENT discipline and make sure your spouse has your back 100% -- the "united front," so a kid can't pit you against each other.

16) Do things together as a family -- family games, movie nights, going out to parks for picnics, cook-outs, museums, factory tours, sports, fishing, bowling, star-gazing, bird-watching, whatever. Teach your kids how to entertain themselves in a wholesome way.

17) Set a good example. Be a decent, virtuous person. Be the person you want your kid to become.

18) Family dinners as often as possible, eaten slowly, with conversation. If you can't think of what to talk about, get a book of Aesops' fables, read one a night,  and ask your kids what they think they mean. Get a book of minute mysteries and solve them at the table. Get one of those "Books of Questions" to get things going. Get creative if you have to, but keep them talking.

19) Teach them manners (the real stuff, not necessarily the salad fork stuff) and get them concerned about others -- their well-being and feelings. Get them involved in volunteer work that focuses on others.

20) Have a happy marriage and put your spouse first. Be affectionate toward each other in front of the kids. Speak well of each other in front of the kids. Show them what a happy marriage looks like.
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#27
(07-20-2013, 12:40 PM)Chestertonian Wrote:
(07-20-2013, 11:08 AM)lauermar Wrote:
(07-18-2013, 11:23 AM)dark lancer Wrote: The kids' friends will most likely be alienated by the kids' religious zealotry.  From my experience, not-so-religious people think that zealots are people who go to Mass regularly and don't disagree with Church teachings.  At some point they'll have to choose between friends and religion, and religion usually loses.

I know, right? That's the first thing that happened to my daughter. Her atheist best friend broke up with her over the internet during the pilgrimage!!! And her other 2 friends, both lapsed Catholics, dropped her after we got home. None of these 3 friends knew of each other, only my daughter. There is no coincidence in this.

My daughter is very lonely. She has a few Catholic homeschooled friends, but they tend to be clannish and exclude her. Possibly they think she's too mature for them.  In my daughter's case, religion is winning.

I think there is a difference between zealotry and possessing the spiritual virtue of zeal.  Perhaps zealotry = the virtue of zeal - the virtue of prudence.  When I had my conversion, some of my secular friends stopped hanging out with me because I was constantly bringing up religion even when no one was discussing it.  I think I discussed it in a way that was probably genuinely irritating at the time.  I had a long way to go in the humility dept (still do).  I cut out a lot of my secular music and tried switching to Christian rock, which is kind of like the Sanka of music.  I made every discussion into a religious debate.  From what I've encountered, a lot of converts go through such a phase, as do lukewarm cradle Catholics who become devout on a retreat.

To some degree, I needed to distance myself from secular friends, secular music, and secular everything and focus on growing closer to God.  Despite being in my 20's, I was a babe in Christ and I had a lot to learn, and a lot of that is easier when you don't have as many worldly distractions.  But you can't spend your entire life on retreat.  You need to go back into the world and fight.  And in order to fight the spiritual battles well, you need to learn how to spread the faith as well as how NOT to spread the faith.

The Catholic guys I hung out with were all "pipe, pint & a prayer" types who liked to drink, smoke and talk theology, usually at the same time.  It was great, until I became very ill and couldn't digest any food or alcohol and I couldn't be around smoking.  As soon as I stopped being 'fun' to hang out with, my Catholic "brotherhood" was gone.  My wife was friends with their wives and as soon as a lot of her free time became wrapped up in taking care of me, their wives were MIA too.  So much for church community.  Sometimes they'd post on my Facebook wall saying they were praying for me, but that was the extent of the friendship.  I since gave up Facebook because if people really cared, they would have come visited me.  These friends only came over if there was a party.

Ironically, the only friends that have stayed in touch have been my non-Catholic friends.  They are the ones who staged a poker night in my hospital room, stop by the house to play chess, help my wife by picking up groceries and doing home repairs.  We all still have lively debates about politics and religion, but are more mature about it now.  I have stopped trying to turn every discussion into a religious debate and instead simply try to live my religion.  So many problems in our society stem from modernism's rejection of the spiritual value of suffering.  I can talk until I am blue in the face (and I have) or I can show them the meaning of suffering and also that I am not afraid of dying (which I'm sure I would be if I were secular).

One of the most important lessons on friendship can be learned by looking at Christ on the Cross.  Jesus' disciples were there for all the miracles and wonders but when it was time for him to suffer and die, all but one disappeared.  It is great to have friends in this life but when life gets difficult, God is the only friend you need.

You don't have to be talking about religion all the time to alienate people.  You can just passively mention that you go to Church and you're a zealot and a bigot.
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#28
(07-20-2013, 10:54 AM)lauermar Wrote:
(07-17-2013, 09:45 PM)MorganHiver Wrote: I grew up in a family that *tried* to go to church for the holidays only and this was wrong, obviously. How do you fishies with families keep your families faithful? Do/did you read child friendly versions of the gospels to your kids? How about teenagers and spouses? Please discuss.

I don't have a magic formula Morgan, but I can tell you what happened to our family:

We were lukewarm Catholics, church-on-Sundays-only. Around 2007-8, I started wearing the Miraculous Medal and praying a daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00pm in my car (I'm a travelling saleswoman) to petition for resolution of problems at work and for a family member's soul. In early 2010, I received a bonus which afforded me travel to Europe. I thought to make it a Catholic pilgrimage--my late mom didn't live long enough to go on one & expressed regret about that. So I went with my teen daughter since my husband couldn't take off from work.

At first, she went for the adventure of travel but halfway through she changed. We went to mass at shrines daily, said rosaries on the bus, viewed historical relics, places and miracles. We saw the real Shroud of Turin. This was an adult pilgrimage, not one geared for teens!  There was much fasting, discipline, and taking communion on the knees without kneelers!

When we got home 15 days later, she cried because she didn't want to go back to public school. She said upon returning that it seemed like her peers and the atmosphere of the school was vulgar. She started praying for their conversion. On her own, she gave up Runescape and online games. She trashed all her rap and screamer music. She purged her closet of immodest jeans. She told me God was with her on pilgrimage the whole time and wanted to go back to Europe. She had matured beyond her 13 years in just two weeks. She's 17 now and is already going to college. She has nothing in common with her secular peers anymore, and not even the Catholic homeschoolers. She's very devout and says daily rosaries. She has also seen the path of drugs and sex in school, so she's very knowing. But she has an adult level of maturity with much self-discipline far beyond her years. She's totally serious about her exams, graduated early cum laude and wants to be a Catholic journalist

Shortly after the pilgrimage, I quit my Novus Ordo parish and started going to mass at a conservative shrine. I started going to confession monthly instead of every 2 years. My daughter and husband followed. After that, I signed myself up for weekly adoration. A month later, my daughter did the same. A year later, my husband did. Then we began nightly family rosaries. Now we are going to a Latin mass, wearing 5-fold scapulars & chapel veils, and eating fish on Fridays. We took the Monfort consecration as a family. We joined this blog and are trying to learn what we weren't taught in catechism class.

What can I say? God must have stepped in. If we hadn't gone on pilgrimage, none of this would have happened. When I think about how we've changed as a family, it shocks me. That is all.


Beautiful story, thanks for sharing it with us. I will be reading it again & again. Smile I am so happy about your daughter. I sent you a message. When I was in high school & College I was also friends with Muslim girls (for the same reasons) God bless you.
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