Impossible? Not really! As with the handing on your faith to your walking, talking child- we need to lead by example. The loudest voice that an unborn baby hears reverberating down to his/her tiny eardrums is that of
his/her mum-other voices will be softer! So, from as young as 16 weeks, your baby will be able to hear what you say.
Why not feed your baby on the Word of God- you could perhaps pray the bible out loud using ‘Lectio Divina’? Speak out your thoughts as you think on the bible passage you are reading.
How about listening to ‘praise and worship’ songs to put you and your baby into God’s presence? How spiritually nurturing is that?! Dance to the music!
Maybe pray the rosary out loud?
In all these prayerful activities your unborn baby is experiencing hearing God’s Word as well as the ‘feel good’ hormones as you dance! Even if you are not dancing, the act of praying will put you both in the presence of God.
If you get to experience the presence of God, say during praise and worship, what’s to say that your babe won’t experience it too? Perhaps he/she will experience God’s presence – even when you don’t! God is so good…whatever small steps we take to bringing His kingdom on earth He will be delighted with and will bless us!
When I think of how my lovely mum handed on the faith to me, I can see that she led by some really solid example – but I can also see some areas that could have been better. My own mum was a very traditional Catholic brought up in 1930’s Sri Lanka.
I am pretty sure that no one had told her that God could speak to her- or that a relationship with The King of the Universe involved 2-way communication.
Aside from taking our children to mass, when we lead by example at this stage, we need to show our kids that we really believe in God, that we are talking to Him and expecting Him to act in our lives. So, aside for set payers, we really need to show them that we are relying on God for everything. Pray out loud for that car-parking space; your aunt Marge’s illness; finding that cake ingredient in the shop; let them hear you praying for their day, their tests, to make the right friends and to know their gifting.
There are lots of other fun things that you can do with your children to celebrate not only Easter and Christmas but to celebrate other special days through food. For example, the Epiphany is celebrated in some parts of the world with the baking of a ‘king cake’.
We can also reclaim the feast of Halloween! The scary, commercial feasting of Halloween can be transformed into something much more life giving, such as the ‘Night of Light’. This concept is explained in the video clip below. Please follow the link here
Of course, reading good fiction to your children is also very important. A great resource is found on the Facebook page: Catholic Children’s Books.
The discussion with your teenager will be moving from wanting a bike to wanting a girlfriend/ boyfriend and to the desire for sex. They will become more aware of world politics and it’s so important that they have a Catholic perspective on all these issues.
Now is the time to be very honest about emotions and the non-Christian ways of the world. Of course, you may have already spoken about ‘worldly views’ before in terms of ‘not all people know the beauty of Jesus and that He is preparing a wonderful future for us- and so they remain non-Christian’….But now you can talk to your teenagers about views on sex, contraception, euthanasia through the eyes of God and pray for them to meet that right person, to remain faithful and not engage in sex outside of marriage.
There is so much to discuss with your children! Be honest and bring up your own mistakes-we all have them! Then you can also talk about the reckless love of God’s forgiveness and how His Mercy helped you to overcome your sins. Being real is so important.
However, embarrassing this might seem, if it keeps your children within the safety of God’s embrace and His covenant – then it is worth it.