"Am I doing enough" is a question I have asked myself on too many occasions to count. When it comes to being a mother, the question is applied to things like "Am I reading to my children enough? Are they getting enough nutrients? Enough sleep? Enough love? Enough compassion? Enough of Christ?" There are many areas I am lacking and need to double down on. I am certain that if all parents took some time to think about it, they could come up with areas which they need improvement as well.
Today, "am I doing enough?" hit me like a ton of bricks when I was contemplating Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12, 14. My focus kept centering on the last verse: "it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost." (MT 18:14) Now, the question "Am I doing enough" becomes more serious. Are my actions, words and deeds enough? Am I a positive witness for Christ? Am I leading my children on a path to holiness? Or am I leading them to be lost?
For example, when I am driving in the car with my children and I say something uncharitable about someone who cuts me off on the road or if I decide to forgo a prayer before a meal at a restaurant because we don't want to stand out or look "odd," or if I decide to partake in some "harmless" gossip in front of my children, or if I decide to miss Mass here or there because there are other "more pressing" matters to take care of.
Before you shrug your shoulders and reassure yourself that these things and similar instances are not a big deal, stop. Heed the warning of the children of Our Lady of Fatima. Hell is real.
At the request of the Bishop of Leiria, Lucia described the vision this way:
“As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me).
The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly: You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
Now stop and really think about whether you are doing enough, if you could be doing more.
Enough and then more is what will shield our children from the onslaught of the evil one who prowls around the world seeking souls; the souls of our children. The father of lives does not rest and we shouldn't either.
I take and offer Pope Francis's advice to "be calmly vigilant against falling into spiritual mediocrity which corrupts us from within."
I promise and hope you will also do what is enough and then more. To attend Mass each week and days of Holy Obligation at minimum. To pray each day both alone and with family, children and my husband. To treat others with dignity and respect. To respond to those in need with time, talent and treasures. To shatter false gods and idols. To obey the law that God has commanded. To do the very best that I can and when I make a mistake to pick myself up, receive the Sacrament of Confession and try again.
Our children will never be lost if we continue to show them the way to Jesus in our words, deeds and actions. I pray, for you and for me, that when our children are grown and their hands no longer hold ours, He will open His hands and they will reach out and hold on tightly.
When it comes to our Faith, what do you do "more" for your children? Share with us on Facebook.
As always, thank you for reading. May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you and may God bless you!
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