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By Maggie Green, Catholic Exchange, December 30, 2019
Maggie Green is a pen name for a Catholic wife and mother who waits for some of her children to return to the Faith. She and her husband live with their children in the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States.
We could feel tremors before the break, the shift in how she spoke, in how she treated others. We could see his heart hardening to God, to the Church, to us. Some would say that’s adolescence, but it always felt like more.
Praying, engaging, hugging, creating special time—we did all of that and it kept our relationships alive, like blowing on the embers. We weren’t saints about it, we were parents. We’d be too hard, too soft, too talky, too quiet, too prayerful, and yet not witnessing enough. It felt like trying to maintain a sandcastle against the high tide of the world. It felt like the world would win and children would leave. As parents, it felt like the waves crashing over.
There’s no small amount of soul searching that goes on when someone you love leaves the faith. You look for that moment when you guessed wrong, and you view each step away a little like proof you failed as a Catholic in your darker moments; easy prey for despair and frustration. It’s a human desire to want to win, to present all of your children like talents in the Gospel, to the Master. “See, I had two talents, I made this many more.” ….