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Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian

This is pretty great: how to prepare your son for the priesthood

© Mazur/

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/17/17

I would add: these are great ways to prepare your son for manhood.

From the sublime Jennifer Fitz:

We hear a lot of noise about praying for vocations, and sometimes it sounds like we’re all hoping the Vocations Fairy will sprinkle Magic Vocation Dust on our dioceses, causing priests to pop up in the lawn like mushrooms after wet weather. Priests don’t grow in the grass. Priests grow in families. They are born to parents (a subject treated elsewhere, but not to be underestimated in its importance).  As a Christian parent, it’s not your job to wander through your son’s childhood helplessly, hoping the Vocations Fairy will cause your boy to be transformed into a well-formed young man able to answer his calling.  It’s your job to oversee his formation, teaching him some very specific skills that will help him become a man of God. 1. Teach Him to Pray You do this about like you teach him to eat: Prayer should be a part of your family life from the get-go. It’s something you help him with when he’s a baby, but that gradually he does better and more independently as he ages.  Like family meals, you never completely quit praying together. Prayer ought to be at least as important in your own life as food is; when he’s a teenager and eating you out of house and home, that’s when you start praying all the more voraciously. Don’t worry—he’ll naturally inspire you that way. It’s what kids do. 2. Teach Him Self-Control You’re raising a man, not a slave.  He needs to learn that he doesn’t have to have everything he wants.  He needs to learn to deny himself now in order to do what needs to be done.  He needs to learn to seek the genuine good of himself and others, not the fleeting pleasure of the moment. So do you, probably. 3. Teach Him Responsible Obedience Obedience is a courageous act of love.  It requires doing without complaining things you don’t like but which are morally acceptable, and refusing to carry out immoral orders even when it would be much easier and more pleasant to get along and go along.  Most of us absolutely stink at this, so you and he can grow together in this regard. 4. Teach Him What Good Liturgy is Like How open would your son be to marriage if the only girls he ever met were shallow, vain, and boring?  Your son needs to meet a Mass that you’d want for a daughter-in-law: Intelligent, reverent, and a pleasure to spend time with day after day, week after week, year after year.  She doesn’t need to be perfect, but she needs to be a keeper.

These are just for starters. You’ll want to read the whole thing — there are some surprises on the list, but a lot of common sense, too. Then share it with every other parent you know—Catholic or not. Good stuff.

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