Today when I was driving my kiddos to adoration, we started discussing all the prayer requests for this week. It seems like there are many. Pregnant friends and family, families struggling with medical issues and financial hardships, and other friends who are a struggling in their faith.
My own mind flooded with my own family’s concerns.
I started to get inundated with worries about monthly budgets; thoughts of the holidays; and the schooling of my children.
I had started to let my mind wander …and then I was snapped by to reality……
when this happened….
My son started in on “ISIS” and the attacks on Paris.
You could hear a pin drop in my minivan. The same minivan where I had just been screaming about a true lack of calm with the radio blasting, and young kids fighting…..was now silenced and awaiting my response.
Then I heard the Fashionista say, “Stop! I don’t want to talk about this. I was happy thinking about my chorus practice and dance class and now you want to ruin my day…”
I get it, little girl……but it’s not fair nor just.
I had been avoiding this discussion….
Because it’s a topic that’s tough for even adults to discuss.
It makes us uncomfortable to discuss the horrors of ISIS.
But…..then “Kids can’t just be kids” right now.
I can’t just send my kids outside to play and turn a blind eye to the hurting people of Paris, or the thousands of children, women, and men who are fleeing their country for a better life.
I can’t discuss “eating their peas” when their “barbie/lego world” has been interrupted by scenes of bloodied bodies along the streets of Syria and Paris.
I try to keep my children out of adult conservations and limit what they are exposed to. However, my job is also to continuously remind myself and my children of our daily mission.
” We must continuously draw others to Christ, daily, by our lives.”
If I make it a priority, to teach my children about the heroism of St. Maria Goretti, and the small acts of love taught by the “Little Flower”, and the servant’s heart of St. Francis…
How can I not honor the martyrs of this century?
or the countless people who sat with these poor souls to give them a beautiful death??
How can I not assure them that although their grievances involve decreased technology time or eating enough vegetables, that other children their age fight to live in a peaceful home and struggle to survive?
Because…I can’t think in my head that my kids are “spoiled” or “unappreciative” when they are truly unaware of the other concerns that pervade the minds of other children their age.
So…I started off by telling them the truth….
Satan is real. And he doesn’t wear red and carry a pitch fork. He’s in the hearts and minds of everyone who seeks to kill and destroy. He can make men do evil things….unspeakable things to each other. We don’t need to watch the horrible things on the TV. We just need to pray for all those Christians who are killed and persecuted. We need to pray for the innocent children who get caught up in the evils of adults.
I watched the color drain from their precious faces. It was pretty tough to watch.
So I took a deep breath, said a short prayer to the Holy Spirit..and started in….
I know all of this seems so scary. But you have to remember that OUR GOD is bigger than all of this. The same God that parted the Red Sea is with us. He is the same who is, who was, and who is to come. He is faithful and merciful. And He loves us.
We need to pray for the strength for whatever God asks of us.
We then finished with the St. Michael’s prayer…..
“St. Michael, the archangel. Defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly prayer. And do thou, oh prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.”
We need to “fix our eyes” on Christ.
Lord, give me the grace and strength to really live this message.