Putting on One Mask, Taking off Another
We know that in case of emergency during air travel, adults put on their own oxygen masks before assisting children with theirs. Talk of masks is everywhere lately, and taking care of ourselves and our families is foremost in our minds. A similar comparison can be made with faith – in taking on a greater role now with religious education of our children, we have an opportunity to get back in touch with our own feelings and understanding of faith. We can take some time to gauge where God is in our own lives before we turn to help children with their own faith. Now is as good a time as any; we have a chance to reflect, and to take some time to examine why it’s important to us to impart not simply faith, but our Catholic faith in our children, as a family. But how to begin? We are providing some resources to help get started, for parents and children alike.
First, we might ask ourselves some questions which we may not have considered in quite some time. Without this, we may be caught short when children ask us about our own relationship with God. This means we will have to take off the mask we wear to face the world and others. There are no masks with God, which can be a relief, and sometimes uncomfortable. Faith is an ongoing process; we are constantly either drawing closer, or drawing away, for a relationship with God is an integral part of life, and growing in understanding of this relationship is important to our identity and wellbeing.
For most of us, religious education ended with Confirmation, usually in 8th or 9th grade. Yet who would want to go through life with only an 8th grade education? Would any of us get ahead with only an eighth-grade vocabulary? The good news – and there’s plenty – is that taking on a bigger role now in teaching faith to our children is an opportunity to strengthen our own. More good news is that God is always there, Christ is always listening, and all we need to do is respond. Parents often find that children are the road back to their own childhood. Children are God’s way of inviting us back, and reminding us that for God, we are all still children, with that personal sense of love and belonging. God is only a prayer away, no matter how long we’ve been gone, or what mistakes we or others may have made. Or what masks we may have been wearing.
Following are some resources, for yourself and children, all online and all free of charge. Please let us know which ones work for you.
Blest Are We: Catholic religious education publisher, with grade specific resources
Dynamic Catholic: videos, links, meditations, readings
Diocese of Rockville Centre, with links to The Long Island Catholic magazine and other resources