What Catholics Believe

Charting the Course to Heaven or Hell—Setting your Children’s Priorities


     Parents must play the leading role in setting their children’s priorities in their day-to-day lives. By their words and example, by the decisions they make and by the directions they give, parents convey to their children a sense of what is most important in life, and what is of lesser importance or of no importance at all. Parents who are lukewarm in the practice of their faith, who seem indifferent to the sacraments and who may even spend much or most of their own lives in the state of moral sin, worldly parents inculcate in the minds and hearts of their children worldly standards and worldly goals as the most important features of their own lives—and their children’s lives. They might encourage their children in the pursuit of worldly success and achievement, but at what cost? Their children might realize all their worldly ambitions and might attain to the height of worldly success but at the cost of their souls. Is this not exactly Our Lord’s point in saying: “What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul.” [St. Matthew 16, 26] If only such parents would take Our Lord seriously when He warns of the great price they will pay for teaching their children to strive for worldly honors and to be lax in their faith. [St. Matthew 18,6]