One of the most daunting things I've discovered about parenthood is how much influence my actions have on my children. Whether it is a matter of bad example, which they might emulate. Or depriving myself of sleep and making myself vulnerable to illness (which I can pass on) or unsafe driving. Or me on the keyboard at 2 in the morning, disturbing their rest. Let's face it -- I can certainly cause my children harm.
Something else that resonates for this topic: take even a cursory look at the news concerning the pope and the sex abuse scandals here and there. What trouble visited upon the Church, the faith of her members, disturbing their peace, and that of majority of her priests and deacons who are not sexual abusers. What horrors unleashed upon the victims! The Church is a household, and the sins of one can gravely affect a multitude, from the victims to their victims (for those who end up emulating the abuse) to the average Catholic whose faith is shaken.
But then that influence can work the other way too. What can we do to make amends? We can pray. We can encourage. We can clarify and expose the truth.
I'm off to bed. My kids need me awake enough to drive.