Yesterday I received an email from the Cardinal Newman Society which related some disturbing statistics:
- 27% of students at Catholic colleges view pornography.
- 59% say their friends regularly use drugs.
- Nearly 1-in-5 know a student who had or paid for an abortion.
- 61% disagree with the Church's infallible teaching on the male priesthood.
- 60% think that abortion should be legal (and even 50% of those who attend Mass weekly!).
- 60% think that premarital sex with someone you care about is not a sin.
- 78% disagree that using a condom is a serious sin.
- 58% support "gay marriage".
One additional statistic included in this email was this:
- Nearly 1-in-8 Catholics will leave the Faith while attending a Catholic college.
Did their parents teach them about the faith? Did the parents' actions match their words when it came to teaching their children about how to practice that faith? Did the family pray together? Were the kids taken to Mass regularly and taught to respect the Mass and the Eucharist?
Did their parish provide the children with ample opportunity to learn about our beliefs? Did the children participate in religious education and youth group? Were the children taught how to make faith in our Lord an important part of daily life?
Our world is awash with violence, profanity, promiscuity, abortion, and "alternative lifestyles". It is an iron-clad fact that our children will be exposed to this sort of thing regularly. As parents, godparents, and fellow parishioners, we have a responsibility to counterbalance that.
It is said that Francis of Assisi invited a young brother to go with him to preach. They walked through the streets of the town and returned to the monastery. The young man asked Francis when they would begin to preach. Francis replied, "My son, we have been preaching; we were preaching while we walked. We have been observed by our fellows, our behavior has been remarked and thus we have delivered a morning sermon. My child, it is of no use that we walk anywhere to preach unless we preach as we walk."
Let us walk in such a way that our children will learn by our example to walk in faith.