Catholic Free Press (June 24, 2011)
Our earliest memories are naturally of God, of exercising the two faculties of the soul, intellect and will. Children are curious explorers and they all need love. I remember when my teen son first heard about abortion, and he could not grasp it. “How could anyone who’s held a baby think that is right?” He remembers his siblings as infants clinging to him, willing to be near him and to know him, as he held and protected them in his arms. Instinctively he knows that hurting an infant is evil.
The first time a baby smiles and expresses joy it is not at some inanimate rock or material thing. It is at someone she knows. Babies learn to reach, crawl, walk, and do those physical things to get what they desire. Toddlers pick dandelions and kids learn to read. Teens rebel, only to later seek that primal need for a hug and a smile from someone they trust. It is so important to teach children about God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because those perfect and eternal divine relations are reflected in the two spiritual activities in all people, thinking and willing.
God gives people the desire to learn and to love so they will seek Him, and if they don’t they will never be satisfied. Consider in academics how this misguided drive to learn without pursuing the Creator leads to anti-intellectual hubris or even destructive means. Consider the desperate and destructive measures men and women who seek love without seeking God will go to fill a void. Without being told about the Blessed Trinity, a young child will only learn to tell others what they want to hear and to behave as people want him to behave so he will feel loved, but he won’t understand the most primitive reasons why he does those things; and therefore, he will fail to guide himself to ultimately productive ends.
What becomes of a child who grows up in a home where there is no mention of faith? How is he supposed to make sense of those natural drives inside him? Everyone wants to know and to be known, to love and to be loved, and we need that as much as we need air or water to live. It’s sad today that the spiritual development of children is often neglected. Yet the Church beckons with her high steeples to catch the eyes of wandering minds and she calls all children home.
Category: Catholic Free Press