At the last Theology on the Rocks, Fr. Kevin Klonowski gave a talk on how to encourage adult children back to a practice of the faith. The venue was packed and people had to be turned away. We will are now working on rescheduling the talk so that it might reach more people. Keep up to date on the schedule of talks HERE.
That being said, Father gave his collection of "5 DON'Ts and 10 DOs" in the practice of encouraging your adult children back to the practice of the faith. Someone wrote us a note on the comment cards and asked if these 15 points could be published on Adam's Ale. Yes they can and here they are with some notes written by me since his outline did not contain the details that he shared! Thank you Fr. K for sending me your outline.
THE 5 DON'Ts
Who wants to belong to any organization or do any activity that tends to produce complainers? And this topic is just further evidence that you do not like me for who I am. This just divides.
When has nagging inspired anybody to do the good any further than to quiet the nagger? Nagging does not transform. It pushes, it does not lead, and when the pushing is done the momentum stops.
3. Yell or Disown.
When was the last time someone yelled at you and you thought, "Hey! They are right! They are only yelling at me and disowning me for my own good! What a fool I have been! I can't wait to turn into an exact copy of the person who is attacking me like this!"
4. Grow Discouraged
God works on his own schedule, not yours. Never give up hope! St. Monica was persistent in her hope for years and years. My own Father did not come back to the faith until practically on his death bed. But he did Always have hope.
5. Underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit within you.
As Bishop Nelson says, "Never underestimate the Holy Spirit working in you, through you, and in spite of you. God's will will prevail.
THE 10 DOs
1. Become a disciple.
You can't give what you don't have. If you want your kids to follow your example, give them something to imitate.
2. Learn, know, and be able to articulate the story of our salvation history.
You never know when someone you love will be interested in knowing more. The door may open for just a minute. What will you say?
3. Promote the pursuit of truth.
There are three ways to God: through goodness, through beauty, and through truth. If you children are seeking truth in some way, promote the effort in them and encourage them to dig deeper even if the subject is not directly that of faith because God is truth and the seeking of Truth can lead one to God.
4. Pray for all of you loved ones who have fallen away.
Pray is powerful. Always remember that and employ it whenever the thought comes! If you are washing dishes and think of your kids, don't plan on praying - pray RIGHT THEN.
5. Promote vocation to the priestly and religious life.
Pray that there will be more vocations to help aid the life of the church.
6. Support campus efforts for evangelization.
Campus life is often the first time young folks are away from positive influences in the practice of the faith. They may even be more greatly challenged to abandon it (even in our Catholic Universities.) Promote organizations that build up the faith on our campuses.
7. Encourage beauty.
Fr. Benedice Groeschel often said that "Ultimately beauty will save us." Of the three transcendentals, beauty is the most difficult to refute. God is Beauty itself. Appreciation of beauty is appreciation of God whether one realizes it or not. Promote beauty in your parish!
8. Put faith into action.
Our faith should lead us to pray but also to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the sick, visit the lonely etc. Let it be shown that the practice of your faith makes for a better world.
9. Plan for you death.
Let you last act be in the embrace of the Church and her sacraments. Perhaps seeing this, perhaps someone involved with your funeral may be able to touch something in your son or daughter. This may be first time in a long time they have met a priest or been in church. Who knows what God can do?
10. Love your children and will their good.
God is love. Be the person to your child that you hope is their impression of God. "I want to be like my parents who loved so much and the inspiration of their love was their Catholic faith."