Today the number of parents shedding tears for their children is on the rise. It is when their children start living an immoral life totally disregarding Jesus Christ and his Gospel that the parents realize the gravity of the issue. For any such parent who has to helplessly watch their children drifting away from Christian faith and values, their remaining years will be one of prayer, penance and reparation in the hope of getting back their prodigal son or daughter. They find consolation in the life of Monica, whose tearful prayers that lasted years, brought back her son Augustine. The Holy Spirit opened his heart to open and read the Bible, which led to his conversion.
Often we have heard the experience of parents who candidly admit their fault in failing to bring up their children in faith. In their twilight years, they realize with pain that had they cared for their children a little more, their future would have been different.
We are presenting here a letter written by such a mother who gave it to all her children on her eightieth birthday. We are dedicating this letter to all those parents, who like this mother, bear the pain of their children’s wayward life.
This is the testament that I give you on the occasion of my 80th birthday.
There have been many shortcomings on my part while bringing you up. I did not have true knowledge about God, His commandments, or the Word of God. So I couldn’t train you in a proper way. Instead I gave you everything material. May God forgive me for my lapses. In reparation for my lapses and to rectify the wrong I committed, I am giving you, in my own handwriting, a set of verses from the Holy Bible. I am giving each one of you a Rosary also. Everyday read at least ten verses and meditate on it. You should teach your children also to do likewise. Try to live in accordance with the Divine Commandments. I hope you will fulfill this last wish of your mother. Practice and live in the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary and never forget the poor souls in Purgatory.
With Love, Your Mother.”
With this letter was attached a file containing 1228 Bible verses, all written in her own handwriting. She made her 80th birthday fruitful by making it a file running into a hundred or so pages and giving it as a gift to all her children. After this she quietly returned to the enclosure of prayer, penance and reparation, offering everything that she does for the conversion and sanctification of her children.
It will be difficult to find parents who have at least once in their life thought that their own fault has led their children to go astray. Let us bring all such parents who weep for their children to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin. Let me conclude with a verse from the thousand plus verses that an old and frail lady wrote with her trembling hands as penance for her mistake in not bringing up her children in faith.
‘You should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins’ (Jas 5:20).