Be careful what you wish for

I think as Lent draws to its end, and reaches its remarkable conclusion at Easter next week, I sense within me a heightened sense of disappointment and of failure that my adult children do not practice their Catholic faith.

It is tempting for me to pray with all my heart for them to turn back to the church as if it would be some kind of tonic for my own sense of well being or is it pride?

I need to be careful what I wish for !

Firstly, I need to be careful that my aspirations for them, are not really a remedy for my own failings.

My focus should be on my own faith, or lack of it, or continuation of it — it should not be on theirs.

Secondly, when I look back over my life, my sense of faith has usually been heightened at times of intense stress, suffering, pain, anxiety, strife and sadness and I have welcomed and been very thankful for being able to tap into the spiritual dimension to my soul, and of community which church attendance affords to me.

I am concerned that my hope for my adult children’s return to the practice of their faith, might be a prayer for them to experience pain at some point in the future which I cannot carry for them as I would want to do.

Better, I think, that I should pray that they carry a remnant of their faith, and recognise that what they have retained is known to them, not to me.

William Defoe