My boys had a rough time getting off to school this morning. There was arguing and drama – normal kid stuff, but it was stressful until we got into the van at the very last minute.
Once they buckled up, I knew I needed to connect with their hearts and steer us all back into the spirit of faithfulness we try to live by as a family.
I made a dramatic joke about how badly we needed Jesus, and I started asking (out loud) for some of our favorite saints to pray the Lord’s peace back into our hearts. “St. Benedict, pray for us. You kids know he prays for us every day because you have his medal pinned in your backpacks, right? St. Ignatius, pray for us. Joshua, aren’t you doing a school project on him? Dylan, St. Anthony is one of your favorites-let’s ask Him to pray for us too … we need all the help we can get this morning.”
These prayers shifted us into a more light-hearted spirit and wonderful conversation, which helped me clarify my beliefs in a way I think is worth sharing.
Joshua said, “I could never be a saint.”
Dylan said “Yeah, me neither because they have to give away all of their things to the poor.”
Rhys agreed, “yeah Saints, can never even have an X-box.”
I love moments of honesty like this with my boys because I can use them as teachable moments.
I responded, “Guys, don’t sell yourselves short. The church teaches that we’re all called to be saints, and there are all kinds of saints. Though clergy do take a vow of poverty to literally be poor, the rest of us are just called to be detached from attachment to physical possessions no an emotional level, so we’re generous to others and follow Jesus above all else. And the vow of poverty isn’t that bad – think about our Father Tony – he still gets to travel and live a wonderful life.”
I then encouraged them “Instead of focusing on how hard it looks to be a saint from the outside, remember they’re just like you, and shift your focus to how powerful their relationship with the Holy Spirit must have been for them to love God so much they were willing and able to complete such heroic missions on earth. No one forced the saints to do all the amazing sacrifices, they chose out of love of God because they were filled with so much of His spirit. Saints are just regular people like us, who choose to follow Jesus. We can pray to be filled with so much of God’s love that we can do amazing things with our lives too.”
It was a mouthful, but all three tuned into these truths.
I added. “Just ask Jesus to purify your intentions and desires, so you start to WANT the things of God. You’ll be amazed at the things you can do, when you’re full of the Holy Spirit. There really is nothing better than the Holy Spirit (even an x-box) -and I hope and pray you realize and experience that truth someday.”
I stand by that truth. In my life, I’ve had to detach from a lot, and I have learned that there really IS nothing better than the Holy Spirit itself and all the gifts it brings us including total freedom. I’ll continue to pray for the boys to realize that and try to share that message with others through writing.
I’m committed to continually steer my kids and as many people as possible in the direction of true faith.
Lord, bless us and our children with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit today … purify our desires, wills, intellects and imaginations. Help us encounter Your love in a powerful, life changing way, so we can answer Your calling to Glorify you with our lives by doing what would be impossible without Your help.
Philipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Luke 11:13 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.
We are ALL called to be saints!
The Holy Spirit is a GREATER gift than anything physical on this earth.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do great things, like the saint did.
Do you have any attachments to earthly possessions that are holding you back from more fully embracing God’s calling on your life?
Have you had a life changing encounter with God’s love, which motivated you to make a sacrifice out of love?