One of the common threads I found when talking to people at the Catholic Answers conference last week was how much heartache there was regarding their adult children that were no longer active in their faith. Statistically and personally, this was something I was aware of and has been a growing problem. I also know that these people are less likely to return to the faith. In the past, marriage, baptisms, and times of personal crisis provided some reexamination regarding faith. This is less true now. What especially struck me regarding the people I met is that there’s a group of individuals who had found the “Pearl of great price”. That it was exceedingly hurtful that their children had not yet found their joy in Christ. That they were not pining for their children to return to the same tribe as an identity marker, but something so much deeper – union with Christ.
The culture is toxic to Christianity and an inhibitor. Yet, God has weighted reality towards salvation. That his love for us is not based on whether we live in a dominant Christian culture or not. So I have great hope that my own son will respond to faith. Parents especially understand Jesus saying that a prophet is not recognized in their own house.
I was also thinking of the book “The Saint Monica Club” by Sophia Institute Press which has lots of practical advice in dealing with this situation. We imitate our fast food culture when it comes to demanding quick resolutions to our prayers. We forget the “fast from food” culture and St. Monica’s long years of supplication and tears (preaching to myself here). Mainly, I have been thinking about how as the Body of Christ we assist others in this situation. I wish we had a group of contemplatives whose primary mission was to pray for this. Perhaps the Monicas. Sorry for the awful pun ahead on a serious subject, but because of Monica’s tears, they could be called the “Dew Monicans.”
I am back to being serious. I have discerned a priority on praying for priests in my own life, not just because it is baked into Discalced Carmelite spirituality. Now, I feel that this subject needs whatever poor prayers I can offer – yet magnified by what Jesus desires. Also, thinking about the concept of “The Saint Monica Club” where we can pray for one another and encourage each other. Not just another Facebook group that people will be pestered to join. A club whose whole purpose is to reduce its number of members. I just know there are many hurts out there that we, as part of the Body of Christ, need to actively help.