Since our Bible readings today talk about praying always without becoming weary, I found the following advice from Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez of Denver very helpful. He is talking especially to parents of adult children who have left the church:
"First, we must never lose hope. Why? Because that seed that God sowed on the day of their baptism when you took them to make their first communion; that remains," he said. "They leave, they abandon [the faith], they say they no longer believe in God, but that seed is there... And that's why I say, 'You have to have a lot of hope,' because God will know how to return to the soul of that child, that girl, that boy."
Secondly, parents must pray daily for the salvation of their children. "Parents have the fundamental duty to pray for the eternal salvation of their children. That must be the main prayer of your day... until it is the last prayer you say before you die," he insisted.
In addition, parents should be living examples of what they profess to each other.
"Sometimes children see and are scandalized... When the faith that you profess in the Church is not lived at home, (rather the opposite), that dissociation in which the video and the audio don't match makes something break in the soul of that child and begins to question the sincerity, the truth of that faith", noted Bishop Rodriguez. Therefore, parents should be the first to try, with sincerity, to live a life consistent with the faith.
Finally, family prayer should be practiced. The bishop stressed that praying in the family is also part of that example of the importance of living the faith at home and in daily life. "All of that is sinking in," the bishop concluded. "It is like a little drop of water falling and making a little well in the soul of the child and you never know when in that little well faith will blossom again."
Rev. Mark Zacker