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Being a "Normal" Teenage

Updated: Jul 16, 2021



When I think about Saints, I often imagine individuals who are untouchable fabrics in society. So holy and so pure that I could never achieve this level. But as I reflect on some of the stories of Saints I also understand that Jesus called many people who were sinners, who had hardened lives and were transformed into holiness.


As a parent my job is also called to transform lives. My most important job is to help my kids in their journey toward heaven. But being called to holiness is not an easy feat. I have often wondered, what is harder, working to become a saint or being a mom to a teenager in the 21st century? Today’s world is filled with so many temptations for our kids to stray from their faith that as a parent we are fighting some hard core spiritual battles. And while my kids know the core teachings of right and wrong it doesn’t always mesh with the aspects of being a popular teenage.


Society tells our kids, “ Be cool, be yourself, sex before marriage with someone and anyone is fine if you consent. Commandments are more like suggestions and you only need to follow if it feels right. Your body is your choice. If you don’t agree with others who live immoral then you’re a hateful person.” And it comes from every angle. Our kids are in a tug of war.


Recently my daughter pointed out that I wasn’t allowing her to be a “normal” teenager, when I mentioned a song she was listening to strongly went against our Catholic teachings. My husband said it best. “I’m trying to raise you to NOT be a normal teenager.” It’s definitely hard to fight back against all the pop culture that portrays things as enticing and appears good but in reality doesn’t bring us closer to God. God calls us to have purpose and to have a mission of holiness. As a mom, I’m trying to teach them that what is POPULAR is not always RIGHT and what is RIGHT is not always POPULAR.


 

I recently read Lisa Hendy’s book “I’m a Saint in the Making, and interestingly enough Lisa reminds us that even Saints had hard decisions to make. Their lives were full of spiritual warfare making decisions on what is right NOT what is popular. She also points out as these Saint’s came across their journey to holiness they were not all the same and many came across hard battles. As St Theresa of Calcutta points out. “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

So when I look at my daughter and have to explain to her why she can’t listen to unholy popular music, I also remind her that she is more than just a popular song, she is more than a trend, she is God’s child and our journey is about getting home. Lisa’s book also shows how the Saints can be examples in our family’s life and how we can learn to grow close to God, even in the everyday. As St. Augustus Tolton once said, “ As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.”

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