Who Are Your Spiritual Children?
Today, we celebrate the feast of Saints Timothy and Titus, two bishops of the early Church who worked closely with St. Paul. Often, Paul is described as the spiritual father of Timothy and Titus. He guided them in their missions forming the early Church and profoundly influenced their own faith lives. Thanks to the collaboration of Paul, Timothy, and Titus, the early Church had a strong foundation in the geographical areas they evangelized.
What does it mean to be a spiritual father or mother and to have spiritual children? At its core, spiritual parenthood is about growing the family of the Church. This is a role that all Christians can share. Just as some of us are called to be biological parents, all of us are called to develop our own faith lives and to pass what we have learned and received along to other people in our lives.
Spiritual parenthood is a challenge. In the same way that children encounter obstacles and different stages in their journey of growing up, spiritual children also progress along trajectories. Those trajectories can include rejection, rebellion, questioning, and discovery. Being a spiritual mother or father means guiding your spiritual children through all these phases while keeping your gaze always fixed on God.
Whether or not you believe you have spiritual children at the moment, try asking yourself the following questions to prepare to be a good spiritual mother or father. Keep in mind that sometimes, you can have spiritual children without even realizing it—you teach others by your witness.
- Who are the spiritual children in your life right now?
- Who would you like to adopt as a spiritual child?
- How are you growing in your own faith so that you can better help others?
- Who were your spiritual parents, and what impact did they have in your life?
- What can you, in turn, learn from your spiritual children?
We pray today for all the members of our family of faith and for those who guide others closer to Jesus.