Be Not Afraid (of RSE)
Every night at the ending of bedtime prayers with my 10 year old son, we pray the Eternal Rest for the faithful departed, especially our loved ones and I encourage him always to pray for the most forgotten Holy Souls in Purgatory because in return their prayers for us are very powerful and beautiful.
Why? Because they have the sure and certain hope that they will enjoy the Beatific Vision and earnestly desire us to follow them to that same Glory. In short, what I am trying to instil in my son is a faith-filled confidence in the life to come, a real hope that no matter what evil may befall us in this life, it is only by holding on to the hope of eternal life in Christ that we can overcome all obstacles to that joy we are destined for.
This focus on the horizon of eternal life is an important context for the spiritual, moral, social, psychological and emotional well being of children.
Over this last year I have been speaking to my son about the beauty and gift of human sexuality. I ask the Holy Souls to help me in this task so that I can spiritually inoculate him for what lies ahead in the inevitable years of challenge and confusion during adolescence.
“Be not afraid” said the great St John Paul II, and in that vein I highly recommend the excellent book; “Beyond the Birds and the Bees – Raising Sexually Whole and Holy Kids” by Greg and Lisa Popcak. This is a gem of a book full of practical advice for parents, but also suitable for any teacher who wants to be conscientious about bringing fresh insight in to the whole area of “relationships and sex education” (or as I prefer to call it: “relationships and sexuality formation”) – “An answered prayer for parents working to raise faithful Catholic children in a sexually confused culture.”
I was privileged to meet Mr and Mrs Popcak and their family at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015. What a powerhouse of evangelical Catholicism they are. For whilst they espouse Catholic vision and truth, they recognise that many fall short of it and are wounded. Their innovative online counselling service, The Pastoral Solutions Institute, provides professional, practical, pastoral assistance to individuals and families facing all manner of problems.
Those of you in the front line of Catholic secondary education know only too well just how demanding and challenging it is to try and respond to the ever increasing numbers of children with emotional and mental difficulties. If by recommending the Popcak book to just one family or signposting a parent to their online counsellors [all of whom are vetted and qualified] can help, then who knows what fruits might be borne of such knowledge sharing.
Edmund P Adamus
Catholic writer and expert on Theology of the Body. Follow him on Twitter.