How Our Daughter Plans to Help 25,000+ Souls in Her Lifetime (+4 Reasons We Support Her Efforts)

By Dave Cowden

Note: I’m beginning a series on Daily Mass for Tired Parents, and this is the first post in the series. What better way to begin than by showing how a parent’s desire for the Eucharist rubs off on children!

If you’ve been following along on our Instagram (@tiredcatholicparents) you’ll know that our eldest is making her First Confession and First Holy Communion in June, on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi!

Recently, when having a conversation with her about Confession and the Holy Eucharist, she asked if she could go to Confession every day. This is roughly how the conversation played out:

“Well, honey. We usually go every two weeks so we can help as many poor souls in purgatory as possible.”

“Can I receive Holy Communion every day?”

“Of course! And every time you go to Mass and receive Holy Communion, you can [gain a plenary indulgence for] a poor soul in purgatory!”

*And then, with the help of a calculator, we did the math to determine how many indulgences she could receive in her lifetime if she lived to be 80 and received Holy Communion every day: 73 x 365 = 26,645!

“Honey – if you received Holy Communion every day at Mass and went to Confession every two weeks with us, and offered your Mass for a soul in purgatory, you could help over 25,000 souls make it into heaven!”

“Oooohhh I DEFINITELY want to go to Mass every day!”

Now, let’s make a couple things clear:

– First, we’re in no way suggesting that we should bring our kids to daily Mass simply so they can “earn” as many indulgences as possible. There are certain conditions that must be met in order to be granted an indulgence, including being in a state of grace and detached from sin. If a soul is pure enough to meet these conditions, it can be assumed they’re not just going to Mass to rack up indulgences.

– Second, this disposition of hers, to desire to receive Holy Communion daily did not happen overnight, nor did it happen without the deliberate intention of her parents. Over the past few years we’ve been working up to making Daily Mass a priority, and this growing desire of hers is the fruit of her frequent spiritual communions and seeing devotion modeled by her parents. In “The Prayer Book for Tired Parents,” Debbie and I discuss more practical ways to making going to Daily Mass feasible for parents, no matter how many kids you have or how young and squirmy they might be.

But, it’s settled. Hearing this genuine exclamation of hers is enough to convict Debbie and me to do whatever we can to get her to Mass every single day. And here are a few reasons:

  1. Not only would she be helping, in theory, 25,000+ souls, but then those souls would be praying for her as well!
  2. A young child who has not yet committed mortal sin (Lord, may she never!), who regularly goes to Confession and receives Holy Communion would quickly ascend to the heights of holiness. What parent wouldn’t want that for their children?
  3. If she wants to go to Mass, of course we will go too. Imagine how many more souls our family can help through indulgences AND how much stronger and holier our family will be by receiving the sacraments TOGETHER.
  4. It is our duty as Catholic parents to do everything in our power to lead our children to heaven. Woe to us if our children ASK to go to Daily Mass and we refuse, especially for a silly reason!

In your state in life right now, it might seem impossible to get to Daily Mass, let alone get your kids interested in going. In the next installment, I’ll be talking about the importance of parents getting to Mass more frequently, even if your kids aren’t in tote, and share what has worked for me (and if it’s working for me, I know it can work for you too!).

In the meantime, please start to prayerfully consider how your family can get to Daily Mass; and if you’re not sold on Daily Mass yet, pray this prayer:

“Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.”

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