At the outset, it is important to remember that each of us is called to holiness. By this I understand that we try to model our lives on that of Jesus. His life was one of selfless love, service and forgiveness. So it is not only those who enter the priesthood or religious life who are called, but all of us.
The question which each person must wrestle with in their life is: how is God calling me to live this out? What does God want me to do? What occupation? What state of life? What is God's dream for me?
Given this, the first thing that we as parents must do is create an awareness in our children that God is calling them. That he has a dream for them. That because of His great love for us we can be certain that it will be good. By creating such an awareness in our children that we can hope that , when they reach the age at which they must make life choices, they will allow God to be part of those decisions.
In practical terms, there are a number of things we can do to encourage our children to grow closer to God.
Prayer: We must let our children see us pray and we must pray with them. Before one can discern how God is calling them, they must know God and in order to know God we must spend time with Him. This is prayer.
Service: We must show by our example that we are responding to God's call in our lives.
Talk about it: If a child initiates a conversation about what they want to be when they grow up, take the opportunity to remind them that God has a dream for them and that they can ask God to reveal it to them.
Ultimately we want our children to come to know how much God loves them and to grow closer to Him so that they might desire to know and to do His will in their lives.
Michael Morris Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities 2075 Hamilton Street Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2E1 Phone: 306-761-3724 Fax: 306-565-2141 mmorris [at] sarm.ca (E-mail)