As a parent, your children are always watching you and learning how to navigate the world. And while it is important to give a good example, it is also key to explain to children why we do the things we do, in order to pass on our values and teach them how to be good, holy people.
Patrick Madrid recently gave an example of this on The Patrick Madrid Show, when he shared how he and his wife explained to their children not only what they were doing when they put money in the collection basket at Mass, but why they were doing it.
“My kids are all grown up, but back in the day, typically the youngest, who might be two or three years old, would be picked to give the envelope to the usher when the collection basket came.
So I would hold that child and say, ‘Who are we giving this money to?’ And she’d say ‘To the poor.’ And every Sunday I would ask them the same question, over and over again. Who are we giving this money to? We’re giving it to the poor. And why are we doing that? Because Jesus said we need to help poor people.
My oldest son has eight kids of his own, and even when he was a little guy, all the way down to our youngest who is a senior in high school, I did it with every single one of them. They probably laugh about it now, but I’ve done it with every one of them because my wife and I wanted to inculcate in their young minds why we do this. It’s not just that at this point in the Mass we put something in the basket. But why are we doing this? To help poor people. That’s a simple concept that even a child can get.
And the second reason is that Jesus tells us that we should help poor people. So I’m hopeful that this little lesson from their youth is going to stick with them throughout their lives and that they will pass that along to their children.”
Listen to the full conversation below: