Prayer Requests

A reader writes:

I’ve been a reader of yours on and off over a number of years. I’ve seen the prayer requests and have offered up my humble supplications, and now I’m asking for help. I have a daughter who has been in the Catholic school system from kindergarten through freshman year in high school. Her mother and I take her to church every Sunday (or Saturday vigil); we pray together every night, and we celebrate all the holidays/holy days. Most of the extended family has been Catholic way into the distant past. She has two cousins who are priests. With all that, she does not believe, or, at least, she sees no difference among the many religions on this planet. She does not understand why we believe in-vitro fertilization is wrong and she does not understand why we feel gay marriage is not a marriage in the Roman Catholic view. Both topics have been discussed openly.

I’m sorry, I’m rambling. I understand that not everyone can accept and believe. However, I would appreciate any prayers that would help direct my daughter to an understanding of our Catholic faith. If any of your readers could provide advice or direction to advice, that would also be appreciated. Also, trust me, this is an incredibly smart kid. ( I know, sin of pride. I’m her father and can’t help myself.).

Your daughter sounds to me like a normal, healthy kid with the normal sorts of questions that should be occurring to a kid her age.  I would suggest you check out some of Amy Welborn’s “Prove it” series of books.  Not knowing the substance of your conversations, I don’t know what you’ve said or what intellectual difficulties she’s had.  Peter Kreeft’s Fundamentals of the Faith addresses stuff like “What’s the difference between Jesus and  the Church he founded and other religions?”  With in vitro fertilization the answer is “In vitro kills developing children”.  The matter of gay marriage is really a subset of the question “What is marriage and why do we have any such thing as marriage at all?”  This may be a place to start the conversation.  I would consider a Socratic line of questioning that allows her to take a look at the presuppositions she is bringing to the discussion.  My money is on her having imbibed a number of very popular presuppositions such as “All that matters in evaluating a moral act is the consent of the participants” or “If a belief makes you feel better what’s wrong with it?”

Also, a reader suggests, “For the father whose daughter is uncertain of the Truths of the Catholic Church, you may want to recommend that he ask her to pray for faith.   I recall that when my daughter was young, it was something I asked her to do.   Shortly afterwar…ds, she shared with me that God had answered a prayer for her and she truly had faith.   Now that she’s a young adult, out on her own, I pray that she hasn’t forgotten that praying for faith is not a one-time deal.    But as a parent of a young daughter, he may still have enough direct influence to get her to give it a try.”

Without knowing more, that’s where I’d start.  Also, don’t be afraid to look at the Catechism–and to say “I don’t know.”  Have confidence in the Tradition.  It is an anvil that has worn out a lot of hammers.  Meanwhile, may God our Father answer your daughter’s questions to her satisfaction and make her a competent and articulate apostle of the Faith through Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary and St. Thomas, pray for her and for those instructing her.

Another reader writes:

You generously asked your readers to pray for my daughter-in-law’s father who has cancer.  They have found that the tumors in his stomach are no longer there/aren’t cancer.  There is still a tumor in his lungs, but everyone is very excited by this development.

Thank you all so much for your prayers!!

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ!  Heal him completely, Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Mother Mary and St. Luke, pray for him, for those responsible for his care, and for all who love him.

Another reader writes:

Asking for lots of prayers for my good friend who’s dealing with a child’s mental illness and consequent family chaos and sadness.  Thank you so much!

Father, hear our prayer for this child and her family that they find healing, grace, strength and peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary and St. Dymphna, pray for them.

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  • Rachel K

    One thing that helped me not to see all religions as the same was to actually learn more about other religions. Once I learned that Christians saw creation as fundamentally good and Buddhists saw it as fundamentally evil (or at least false), it was kind of hard to confuse the two. It may help to find some comparative religion reading for your daughter

    This is a pretty normal phase. I went through it in high school, and I’m quite orthodox now, so take heart. 🙂

  • William

    I too would like to recommend Kreeft, but my suggestion is “Because God is Real”. He wrote it specifically for young people and I’ve found it very useful as a high school theology teacher in bringing students around to faith. I’ve actually seen some amazing results with it.

  • Jared

    Another answer to the IVR question is that it separates life from love. Contraception and IVR are two sides of the same coin.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    The PROVE IT series is fantastic for kids in the middle school to early high school range. But my older kids found them a tad too … “trying to hard to be hip,” in my kid’s words. An adult trying to write like a teen for teens. The content is FANTASTIC, even for adults, but the style can be a bit off putting for older readers.

    Can anyone suggest good faith fundamentals books for older teens? Something that isn’t quite as brilliant and “high minded” as Peter Kreeft, but not geared quite so much toward younger teens as the Prove It series? Maybe something intended for older teens or college aged folks?

  • Jack

    Thanks to all. The advice is great and I’m going to take a look at those books.

  • Seth

    I have an important prayer request that I’ve written up on a sheet of paper. Please pray that God will answer it. Pray that God will truly speak personally to me in response to the requests on that sheet, and that He will answer, and move powerfully in those areas. Thanks.