Mommy, I Made a Sacrifice!


Recently, this is what I hear quite often around the house. A while back, while watching the cartoon "The Day the Sun Danced", which is about the story of the children of Fatima, I explained to my four year old son what sacrifice means. In the video, the children were making little "sacrifices" to God for the sake of poor sinners. They would give their meager lunches to poor children, say prayers, and offer up their own sufferings as a sacrifice for the purpose of earning extra grace for sinners, that the sinners might accept God's grace and save their souls. The children did not want sinners go to Hell.

My son asked many questions, and has a pretty good grasp on the concept. When he doesn't feel like sharing his toys, sometimes he will pause thoughtfully, then walk over and give the toy to a sibling. Then he'll run smiling to me and say "Mommy, I made a sacrifice! I gave my toy to my brother, even though I didn't want to." The first time he did this, it brought tears to my eyes. I'm so proud of him!

The funny thing is, he doesn't quite understand that you can only offer up your OWN sacrifices to God. When his sister hurts her foot, he will say "mommy, I'm offering up her pain as a sacrifice for poor sinners." I tell him that is very nice, but since it is her suffering, then she has to be the one to do it. LOL, he still doesn't quite get that part!

The children are very giving towards each other. Although they don't always share, and there are plenty of squabbles over toys, they are learning to be kind to one another. The teaching about sacrifice just makes it easier to do. My son has really taken this to heart, and has made him think more often about the needs and feelings of others.

I am glad that we have that movie to remind the children about sacrifice. Many of the problems of this world could be solved today if people had the proper attitude about love and sacrifice. Love IS sacrifice. If you are not willing to make some sacrifices for the ones you love, then you do not truly love them. This is why so many marriages fail today. People think it is all about the emotion, the passion, and most of all, the fun. Once it isn't fun anymore, once hard times hit, once a sacrifice is required of them, they want to get out of the marriage. Suddenly they are bored, or have "fallen out of love", or it is just "too hard". They act like fourteen year olds with their first summer job: "Gee, it's not fun anymore, I think I want a new job." If we train our young people to understand that true love is sacrifice, then they will know that when marital hard times hit, it's time to roll up their sleeves and do some hard "work" to make the marriage better.

The Bible is filled with examples of love being sacrifice: "For God so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son" 1 John 3:16. God sacrificed His Son for love of us. Jesus was willing to suffer severe torture and death for love of us. Mary stood by and watched in agony as her Son was slaughtered, never raising a hand to stop it...because although she loved her Son, she also loved God and wanted to obey Him, and she loved all of us too, and knew that her Son must die so that we might live. All these are examples of true love, with the love of God and Jesus being the only perfect love. Although we are not capable of such depths of love, we should aspire to emulate it.

If we are not willing to make sacrifices for others, then we love ourselves more than anyone else, even more than God. That's not to say that we should make all sacrifices every time. But we should have a general attitude of being willing to sacrifice. This comes more easily in regards to our children...but when it comes to our marriages, to our fellow man? Not always easy.

I'm glad my son has learned this lesson early. He truly loves his younger siblings and (most of the time) has their best interests at heart. If only I could more often follow his sweet example!

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