I have raised my son Catholic. He has been baptized, holy communion and confirmation. Lately he has made comments about maybe not believing in god. We went to confession as a family and he didn't want to do his penance. I am hoping someone can give me advice. I don't want to force my religion and faith on him. I see my passing on my faith as a inheritance passed down. Should I just pray and let him do what he thinks?
This book, “Converting the Baptized” is only available used. I cannot recommend it enough to you. Now, it does get into the all-Christians-are-equal-they-don’t-have-to-go-to-mass mess, but, the core ideas, that we must encourage a personal relationship with Christ, is very important!
There is a new video, right at the top of this page, called “Why Be Catholic”. Get that for your family.
For what it’s worth, (and no, I’m not accusing you of this at all, just giving a general warning) never, ever preach or lecture to him. During my own faith journey, I was repulsed when my a family member would just preach like a tent revival minister. It disgusted me. Asking questions and doubting is normal-Mother Theresa had doubts. Many people will admit to doubting certain aspects of their faith-it wouldn’t be “faith” if it couldn’t be doubted.
I am NOT saying you do this, just giving a warning on what not to do.
You can’t force him to believe, but I wouldn’t let him off the hook. He’s your child and not an adult. Challenge him. Ask him why he feels he doesn’t need to repent. He may be just feeling out his growng independence, but I would impress upon him that he can never be independent from God. Your son did not create himself and he is not alone and separate unto himself in this world.
I would recommend praying for him. Pray. Talk to him. Maybe he doesn’t understand. get involved in his life. Don’t force anything on him.
I really don’t know what to say other than to Pray for him and talk to him. I also recommend that you Offer Up what you can to
** The Lord! **
He's a teenager? Teens can be very rebellious, don't force him, just show him by example and maybe he'll follow you. it may take a long time, but it may work. It worked for me , but it took years for me to find Jesus.
I am praying for two of my sons who have turned their backs on God. I pray to St. Monica and to Our Lady for their souls.
When they bring up the subject of religion, I respond, but otherwise I leave it alone. It is a no-win situation.
Pray, pray, pray.
Ask him "why?", then steer him towards the Catechism for answers when possible - maybe a teen version instead of the actual one, if he's not much of an academic. He might be asking those hard questions teens are so good at asking, and not getting good (or correct) answers.