In the simplicity of her life as a young girl, Saint Maria Goretti has a life lesson to share not only with our children but also for us adults.
Resisting temptation is the biggest challenge a Christian can face. This temptation can come in all forms. To explain the sense of this challenge to children, it depends on the age of the children we are going to be speaking to.
We have to understand that the strength to resist doesn’t come by easily. We must help our children to acquire this internal strength bit by bit as they grow older.
We must help them from a young age to develop the sense of resisting desires by teaching them the virtue of waiting, even if they might desire something that is good for them. It is important to discourage in them the habit of “I want something, and I want it now.”
It would be helpful that when they ask for something, you do not always give them what they want instantly, unless it is necessary. It would be helpful to sometimes respond with “Not now. Not today.” This could be the answer to a simple request for a piece of chocolate, for an ice cream, for a mobile phone or even for more time with their friends.
The practice of denying one’s desires might eventually come in handy in more serious situations in their teenage years. It is also important to teach them to apologise to those they have let down, and this counts for us adults as well.
At a young age, Goretti mastered the virtue of perseverance. She loved God so much that she preferred to die than to sin. Goretti stayed strong and firm when faced with temptation, and this shows us how much she truly loved Jesus!