Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30
This one is ultimately the crux of the matter. The US Bishops have called this our “First Freedom,” and it is hands-down the one we seem most in danger of losing at this time in our history. So we hope and pray and we write our Congressman, but we are still uneasy. I mean, what if all our efforts fail to work and we ultimately loose our precious freedom to worship as we please? On the one hand, it seems impossible that that could happen here. On the other hand, we also know that we have no guarantees.
Fortunately, we will never, ever be dependent on the government for the freedom to teach our children how to worship. Here’s what they can never take away from us.
- Freedom to Attend Mass. I read a comment by a priest one time who said that it is not that we have to go to mass, but that we get to go to mass. This is the lesson we need to teach our children. The sad truth is that they may someday not live in a country where they get to go to mass. Let’s not fail to value something until it’s gone.
- Freedom to Pray. No matter what happens, we can and should always be praying with and for our families. This can range from a whispered rosary prayed over the head of a nursing baby to father-led dinnertime prayer over the food to the “Thank you, Jesus” uttered reverently when you find a good parking place in a crowded lot. When our children see and hear us praying like this, they come to understand that talking to God is simply a part of everyday life.
- Freedom to Read the Bible. When you child sees you reading the Bible, he knows it’s important to you. When you read the Bible to him, he knows that it’s important to him.
- Freedom to Sing Hymns. Nothing gets the faith into our hearts like singing the truths of the Bible set to music. I can testify from personal experience that in my times of deepest sorrow, when I had been crying too hard to read the Bible and was too desperate even to pray, the songs I learned at my father’s knee kept me going and believing that my faith would see me through.
- Freedom to Learn the Catechism. One of the things that set us apart as Catholics is that we are not just dependent on our own understanding of Scripture to teach us what we believe; we also have all the wisdom of 2000 years of teaching to guide us. Let’s make sure that our children learn the value of these lessons while they are still young.
- Freedom to Serve Others. When we work together as a family to serve others in Jesus’ name we are bringing our faith full circle, from teaching to learning to practicing and then back to teaching again. We are also placing ourselves in the best possible position of being the “good guys” in our society and hopefully showing others that the Freedom of Worship is not just good for us, but that it’s good for everyone.
Susan Mathis is delighted to be a daughter of the Church, the wife of James and the mother of Chris, Josh and Maggie. In addition to homeschooling and homemaking, she also blogs for freebooknotes.com.