There Really Are No Guarantees…

… Did you know the Salvation Army doesn’t sell donated Bibles? Nope. They give them away instead. I learned this yesterday when I was there looking for picture frames to refurbish. The nice lady at the register gave my son a children’s bible which naturally led into a conversation about religion. And like most conversations about religion here in the southern fried South, she told me …

“I used to be Catholic. My parents were real into it too. We went to church on feasts day & every Sunday. Momma made all us kids pray the rosary every Saturday after dinner. But when I grew up I decided I wanted to be Christian instead.”

I think she saw the disbelief in my face because she quickly added that she still goes with momma to mass on important days like Christmas and Easter. Because this exchange happened at her register there was no time to tell her to “go home to Rome” or call her Mother or even ask her how she came to believe being a Catholic was not the same thing as being a Christian. That was why I looked so dumbfounded. Not that she wasn’t Catholic anymore, but that she was obviously raised by very devout parents and never learned, not once, that Catholicism is Christianity. In fact, the very first form of Christianity.

How does that happen? I ask sincerely because this is one of my worst fears as a parent.

At a quick glance it sounded as if her parents did everything right. Weekly mass, celebration of feast days. Family rosary. I mean, goodness. When I compare that to what I do, or more honestly don’t do, you realize there really is no guarantee that your kids won’t stray from The Church. But to be raised in The Faith and grow up believing it’s not even Christian? It breaks the heart and makes me want to pray for my son that much harder.

If you reading this as a lapsed Catholic I’d love to hear what happened. How was your faith practiced as a child living with your parents? When did you decide to stop practicing?

Related Link: 5 Questions Before You Leave The Catholic Church

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