3 Unexpected Benefits Of Preparing Your Children For Sacraments

 

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This year marked a major milestone for our family; more particularly for our eldest child, Master 8, who received the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion for the first time.

We knew it was coming, of course, and he was duly prepared at his school by the Dominican Sisters who undertake religious instruction, and my husband and I worked with him at home out of some excellent resources by Fr Peter Murphy (who you would be familiar with from the weekly Gospel reflections).

And we discovered that there are more benefits of putting time and effort into preparing your children well for reception of the Sacraments, besides the obvious one of them understanding the significance and importance of the Sacraments themselves.

Yes, this is your chance to enrich the knowledge of your domestic Church, to pass on more of the faith, and help your children embrace Sacramental life with reverence and maturity.

But it’s also an opportunity for you to grow in faith and holiness too. Yes, it is your role as primary educators of your children to grown them in the faith, but you’ll find these unintended benefits of fulfilling your role:

1. You have the opportunity to enrich your own spirituality – as parents we try to practice what we preach and travelling the Sacramental journey with your children means that you can evaluate your own approach to the Sacraments, in general, and your faith life as a whole. Reacquainting yourself with the truths you take for granted might just spur you onto greater reverence and holiness.

2. You can increase your own knowledge – sometimes the very truths we hold dear can be expressed in a different way that inspires us to learn more about the faith; be it the life of a saint used as a shining example in our children’s Sacramental workbook, or a desire to learn more about the theology and teaching behind the Sacraments themselves. Discussing the faith with our children may unearth gaps in our own knowledge and understanding, one that can easily be remedied through reading or spiritual direction.

3. Your practise may be inspired – rediscovering the beauty of the Sacraments may inspire you to greater devotion or to evaluate your current attitudes to prayer and the Church. It might be as simple as nominating one weekend a month where everyone in the family (who is able) frequents the Confessional, enrolling the family in the Brown Scapular, or arriving at Mass earlier so as to prepare better for the reception of the Eucharist.

So yes, you will come out more enriched for your effort, and your children will appreciate it too. Maybe not right now, but when they are older they will look back fondly on the time spent with you preparing for their Sacraments, recognise and appreciate the value of it and, hopefully, replicate it with their own children. And that’s a nice thing to look forward to!

 

 

Filed Under: FaithFamily LifeFeaturedSacraments

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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