Tempted to Go It Alone
By Stacy LaMorte
Certainly, as Catholic parents, we have thought about similarities in the way that God loves us as we love our own children. It is that unconditional love that you couldn’t possibly fathom before becoming a parent yourself.
I really thought when I was a teacher of fourth and fifth graders in California – back in my single days – that the way that I loved my students must be the way it feels to be a parent.
I would worry about the kids who seemed sad, were sick or had a bad day. I would beam with pride with my students when I knew they were working hard and received a grade that reflected their hard work.
However, I realized when I became a parent and experienced parental love, what I felt for these kids was just the tip of the iceberg.
I truly try my best to let my children know that nothing they can do would make me love them less. They can mess up, yell, scream, break something on accident or make really bad choices, and it doesn’t mean that I love them less. I may not like their behavior, but I don’t withhold love because of a mistake or bad choice.
On the flip side of that, there is nothing they can do that could make me love them MORE than I already do!
That was something I had never thought about until I heard a deacon’s homily once. This deacon said he daily told his children that he couldn’t love them more. I wasn’t a parent at that time, but I remember his homily making me think of my own parents and the comfort of knowing that nothing I could do could make them love me more than they already did!
That is how God loves us! Nothing we can do can make God love us more than he already does. He loves us THE MOST that a being can love another being. His love is perfect.
And, on the flip side of that: nothing we can do can make him love us less. We are the ones who shy away from God’s love when we know we have done something we are not proud of. We are the ones who possibly fall away because we THINK God is judging us. But he is not. He wants us to come to him, to tell him what is wrong, to ask him for help, to be quiet and listen to him.
Isn’t that what we want from our own children?
Let’s not be like our children who, when we pick them up from school, give us one-word answers to our questions about their day (or worse – grunts).
Let’s have an ongoing conversation with God as his children, telling Him about our fears, anxieties, loves, excitement, gratitude, stumbling blocks and transgressions. Then be quiet and LISTEN.
Just like you know what is best for your children because you are older and wiser, God knows what is best for you. Just like our kids, it may not be what you want to hear, but God knows what is best for you. Don’t try to go it alone.