Fr. Mike has observed that college students often have a profound encounter with Jesus through their college’s Catholic community. They find that they are praying more, receiving the sacraments more, participating in more service opportunities, and so on. Then they get back home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or—in the most recent cases—a lockdown. They realize, in their interactions with their family that they’re not as holy as they thought they were.
Why do we struggle to be loving toward those whom we claim to love the most? It’s harder to love family members sometimes because—Fr. Mike explains—you didn’t get to choose this group, and they can make demands on you.
It’s easy to be generous when it’s on your own terms.
Our relationships with our family can reveal the impatience and lack of generosity inside us—the unedited version of us.
Be honest with God and admit that the things you thought you defeated are still somewhere inside you. Surrender these things to Jesus. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your family. They love you. Ask family members where they want you to grow this week.
Pursue holiness at home. Like St. Teresa of Calcutta said, find your own Calcutta.
Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.