Kids Are Us (In Many Ways)

Dave and Joan Maroney of Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers, have been traveling the country for more than 15 years. They visit parishes and schools to teach about the Lord's call through St. Faustina to turn from sin, embrace the Sacraments, and be merciful to others. We asked them to share what they hope the fruits will be of this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. They said, "One of our biggest hopes - and one of the things we've been stressing all year - is that more parents are inspired to raise their children in the faith. We need strong Catholic families." In this age of "listicles," Dave and Joan won't demur. Forthwith, their tips for raising kids in the faith:

1. Be a great Catholic yourself.
Raising your kids in the faith begins with your faith. You are their primary role model. Be sure to be the best you can be so that they may walk with you along the path of holiness.

2. Build upon the basics.
By beginning with the basics - teaching them who God is, why He made them, and what they must do to gain the happiness of Heaven (which, by the way, is to know, love, and serve God in this world) - you provide them with a firm foundation upon which to build their faith and a valuable compass that points them toward truth.

3. Unmask the devil.
Appropriately revealing the reality of evil and the tortures of hell isn't intended to "scare the hell out of them," but to make them aware of the consequences of rejecting God. Many of today's movies, television shows, games, and more glorify evil and sin, and seldom do priests speak of these things. Saint Faustina was shown hell on many occasions and was even commanded to write about it:

... I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 741).

4. Provide proper shelter.
The red and pale rays depicted in the Divine Mercy Image denote the blood and water that gushed from Christ's side at the Crucifixion. They represent the outpouring of mercy through the Sacraments of the Church; the white ray for Baptism and Penance, which purify the soul, and the red ray for the Eucharist, which nourishes it.

Jesus told St. Faustina that these rays (or Sacraments) "shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him" (Diary, 299).

Provide this most important shelter by taking your family to Confession on a regular basis and attending Holy Mass as often as possible. Make visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and allow them to bask in the rays of mercy, even if only for a few short minutes.

5. Enthrone the Divine Mercy.
Formally claim ground for Christ by having a simple ceremony that enthrones the Divine Mercy Image in a place of honor in your home. Ideally, have the home blessed and all family members sign a certificate acknowledging His kingship. Jesus promises: "By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it" (Diary, 570).

6. Consecrate your family to Divine Mercy.
We encourage everyone to recite the following prayer of consecration: "O Jesus, You showed us Your infinite compassionate love by exhausting the very last drop of blood and water from Your body. From this day forward, with full confidence, we entrust our families to Your Divine Mercy. We abandon our past, our present, and our future to You. We place into Your wounds all of our wounds, which are caused by lack of love, understanding, and trust. Jesus, expel Satan and all evil from our families, free us from the consequences of sin, and protect us from further harm. Heal our wounds. May our families learn to venerate Your Divine Mercy Image so that they will never perish but experience Your loving mercy. Amen."

Learn more about Mother of Mercy Messengers.

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