By Zoe Cannon
“Truly I say to you, unless you are changed and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3
When Jesus said, “become like little children,” he was teaching us about the importance of having a sincere and beautiful heart! Pride is the greatest spiritual failing known to humankind, but God’s mercy is hope for a sinful world.
God designed an amazing plan for creating new life with the gift of male and female. To become a parent is a very humbling, spiritual and formative journey. The opportunities to love, train and care for a child will bring unforgettable joy to each heart, and an indelible mark of blessing in the life of every child.
The fast-paced world makes family life challenging; and even the most careful, loving person has a day when kindness, the way the Lord expects it, is lacking. Are you as polite to family as you are to strangers? I remember one hectic morning years ago when our children were small, and we were rushing to get ready for school. The phone rang, and apparently when I answered I had a much softer, cheerful tone in my voice. I heard one of my kids say, “good, she is not mad anymore!” I thought about that remark all day; words and tone matter, and actions do too!
Our seven-year-old grandson recently wrote a love letter to his mom; he folded the note into an airplane and flew it into the kitchen for her to find while she was preparing supper. I share this sweet story for several reasons: I am grateful that our daughter and her husband provide a loving home for their children. I feel blessed that our grandchildren know how important it is to share love with gratitude. I realize more every day how destructive society has become because faith in God and teaching truth about life are removed from conversation in the home. The loss of moral values and the opportunities missed in protecting the innocence of our little ones are heartbreaking.
Truth the way God intended is fundamental to the life of a healthy family. Not every child is equally blessed, but we all play roles in keeping our morally bereft society from ruining our most precious gifts — children, our future! If kindness is not a consistent practice in your life, your relationships with God and those you love may be suffering. A strong spiritual connection creates happiness, and the greatest transformation of love begins in the home. Be the person you needed as a child!
As we prepare for another school year to begin, please remember the best gift you can give to your child or spouse is distraction-free ‘presence.’ Valuable time spent together making memories is a treasure, and it can be as simple as sharing a meal. The kitchen table has always been a gathering place in the home where cups of coffee are shared, household bills are written, homework reviewed, play dough rolled out, and birthday candles lit with best wishes for a new year, among other things. Jesus calls us to his table for a Sacred Meal every Sunday. We receive his Blessing Cup, we bring our debts and gratitude, and we see the light of Christ in those who share this offering of love. Being truly present for Holy Mass builds up the Body of Christ . . . the Church . . . and helps us prepare to enter the kingdom of heaven. Sharing this truth could be the kindest gift you ever give. God bless your journey of life! Amen!