Just eight days ago I asked readers to pray for young drivers. Well, at this morning’s Mass we learned that a 17-year-old young man in our community died last night when he ran his car into a tree. The full details have not been released but it is suspected that alcohol was a factor.
After Mass, while I waited for my youngest to complete his altar server duties, I prayed for this young man and especially for his family. As a mother of three teens, I identify with the grief and anguish this young man’s parents must be feeling right now. I then prayed even harder for my own children. I think back to my own high school years. Teetering on the edge of adulthood is such a precarious perch. I now realize why my mother seemed to be constantly praying when I was a teenager. I am certain it was her prayers and God’s grace that saw me through those turbulent times.
Parenting a teenager must be worth some extra credit points on the path to sainthood. It is a continual act of faith. You have to believe that you laid the groundwork for good character when they were younger. Eventually you have to let go and trust them to follow through with moral behavior. Teens have the physical makeup of adults but often have the judgment of children. They make mistakes. As a parent you need the energy to help when they need it and the wisdom to know when they don’t. I don’t know how I could survive these years without time spent on my knees in prayer, a good supply of devotional candles, and my rosary on my fingertips.
So once again, I ask for renewed prayers for our teens, especially when they get behind the wheel of a car. And perhaps we should add prayers for their parents as well.