My mother in law, a faithful Catholic, has challenged the brood of us to give a gift to Jesus this year in celebration of His birthday. For my gift I have decided to give a little talk to the family about the importance of the Church, and the importance of Jesus’ life and death (a little “spreading the good word”). Before I continue, a little background: my brother in law is Catholic by name but has fallen away, and has raised his children very liberally. They only attend mass when my MIL requests them to (namely, the holy days of obligation) but the problem is they don’t have Jesus in their hearts. When attending mass, it’s just ‘going through the motions’, if you will. BIL is newly divorced, and has custody of his children, ages 19, 15 and 10. The kids are troubled, especially the older 2 which are girls.
A few days ago, we were trying to decide which Christmas mass service we would attend together as a family. BIL chimes in “the girls are going to their mothers on Christmas, so they won’t be going to mass.” This broke my MIL’s heart because he was ready to dismiss the importance of the mass for his children without a second thought. There are quite a few masses held on Christmas Eve, so we suggested we go to one that night, with he and his girls, and he agreed. But had we not suggested it, he wouldn’t have gone and not cared in the slightest.
So as a gift to MIL as well as to Jesus, I was hoping to have the right words to help him and his children understand Gods love, understand the importance of worship, the dangers of not, etc without sounding “preachy”… know what I mean? I don’t want to turn them off or make anyone defensive. So I need your help! Any suggestions on what I can say that will have any impact on them? Please and thank you!