Being a Catholic parent or teacher can be daunting work. We’re entrusted with SOULS of small people and burdened with raising them to be good and faithful adults.
Having the wisdom that we do from being out in the world for a while now (hehe), we know all too well the dangers and complications the world poses when we send our little Catholic nuggets skipping off into it when they move out of the house (hopefully before they’re 40). Here are six ways that raising Catholic kids is like preparing them to enter the Hunger Games.
1. Community is a must!
We’re the Body of Christ for a reason and a body needs members! Teach your kids the importance of Catholic community, found best at the mass and in parish life, and he’ll have comrades for the battles for life. When times get tough, having a community to back you and lift you up and carry you will be priceless in being faithful. Especially when faced with jerks who just refuse to be evangelized, like these guys:
2. The Sign of the Cross is like a secret signal
You know your peeps and they know you. It’s like a not-so-secret handshake that just lets the whole world know you’re Catholic and unafraid. Like when Katniss kept doing this and it eventually started riots and a war (Book of Revelation, y’all, Book of Revelation):
3. Knowing people are praying for you is like receiving sponsor gifts right when you need them
This goes along with having community but prayers and acts of service are seriously the best gifts in times of trial. As parents (and educators, etc.) we have the responsibility to be the first intercessors and providers for our kids and to help them during the dark nights- kinda like being the Haymitch to their Katniss and Peeta. This is also like helping them attune and open themselves to receiving the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, some of the best tools and gifts they could possibly have ever, especially during times of crisis.
4. Being willing to go against the status quo even when the consequences could be great
Having the courage and the faith to stand up to the status quo, when it is immoral or against the Faith, can be hard and challenging especially when it could come at a great personal cost! But it is necessary. Katniss and Peeta displayed what we like to call being as innocent as doves and as cunning as snakes, a necessary skill for dealing with the world- not being naive yet still being good and unhardened by the troubles the world brings. Think of all the martyrs who did this! Think of all the other great saints who displayed this courage, tenacity, and craftiness, too. They all had mommies and daddies who raised them or good teachers who laid the foundation for their faith…
5. The ability to show mercy, even to our adversaries
Learning to balance love and justice might be one of the hardest virtues to cultivate, but mercy is so vital to a full Catholic life. Here Thresh knew that by not killing Katniss when he had the chance left himself vulnerable to being killed, but he also knew that Katniss helped Rue from his district and that the games were unfair and immoral, so he let her go. In turn, after Katniss and Peeta won, they donated some of their winnings to Thresh and Rue’s families as an act of gratitude.
6. Laying one’s life down for a friend is the greatest act of faith, hope, and love one could ever do
Jesus did it and we’re called to do it, even if that only means in the small, everyday acts of spending ourselves for others (ahem, parenting!). This is the greatest thing we can teach our kids: how to freely lay down our lives for others. Most times that will be in the small ways, so we’d better model well! But some times, it’ll mean things like martyrdom and we have to instill the faith and courage necessary to accept and give of ourselves in these ways.