Thursday, September 11, 2008

How To Keep Your Kids Catholic

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Many of my readers are concerned about the two-front assault our children are receiving on their Catholic faith. On the one hand Catholic children, like all Christian children, have become the direct targets of Secular Humanism. The assault on their faith bombards them from television, movies, music, literature, public schools and peer pressure. On the other hand, Catholic children also receive competition from some of their Christian brethren in conservative Protestant churches. While most Evangelicals and Pentecostals are open-minded about Catholic Christianity, a small (but loud) minority still subscribe to Protestant Fundamentalism.  By this I mean they believe Catholicism is a "cult" and Catholic Christians need to be converted. So our kids are being assaulted from all sides.

To help parents keep their kids Catholic in an increasingly hostile world, 'The Catholic Knight' offers some suggestions that should help...

First, understand the real threat. Secular Humanism poses a much greater threat to your kid's faith then Protestant Fundamentalism. Protestant arguments can be easily repelled, with a little education, and temptation to sin does not usually accompany them. Protestant Fundamentalists are genuinely confused about Catholicism. They may be assertive in their attempts to convert, but when confronted by an educated Catholic, who offers sound responses to their questions, they usually back down. After all is said and done, the Protestant Fundamentalist is a sincere person, who is sincerely concerned about a Catholic's soul, but just happens to be sincerely confused and sincerely wrong. On the other hand, a Secular Humanist does not share this sincerity. Secular Humanists could care less about a Catholic's soul, and the reason for their aggressive tactics is to console themselves and their own insecurities. It comes down to that old adage; "misery loves company." Therefore, when confronted with an educated Catholic, who offers sound responses to their questions, they usually resort to shame tactics. By this I mean when they can't confuse a Catholic with trough questions, they attempt to humiliate him any way they can. This might be done by pointing out embarrassing episodes in Church history, or poking fun at the child himself in some ways. What's worse is that a Secular attack on a child's Catholic faith is quite often accompanied by a temptation to sin - which may be very attractive.  Sin is often the root of Secular attacks on Catholicism, because the Catholic faith is the biggest force in the world convicting people of sin.  So in order to eliminate the "guilt" of sin, Secularist seek to eliminate the world of Catholicism.  This is best done by tempting Catholics to leave their faith behind.  Typically, sex if the biggest temptation offered to Catholic teenagers.  So it's important to recognize these things, and emotionally prepare your child for what to expect. Make sure he knows the difference between Protestant anti-Catholicism and Secular anti-Catholicism, as well as the difference between their attacks and intentions.

Second, practice Catholic traditions in your home habitually, and make sure your child is getting some joy out of them.

Third, educate, educate, EDUCATE!!! I cannot stress this enough. You cannot give your children that which you don't have yourself. If you want to educate your children on Catholicism, and it's been a while since you've been educated, then it's time for a refresher course. Study your faith, and then help your kids do the same. My children are fairly young, but that doesn't mean they can't understand some complex subjects. I use the "friendly defenders" flash cards as a resource. They help my kids (and me) memorize Scriptures and come up with quick answers to typical questions. I would recommend them for any Catholic home. I've provided some quick links here for your convenience...