By the time my wife and I decided we wanted to have a third child, I was deeply dedicated to my spiritual life. Among other things, I was “practicing the presence of God”: an effort to remember God every moment of every day. No matter what you are doing outwardly, you keep the company of God in your heart.
I loved my first and second children with all my heart, but neither showed much inclination for the spiritual path. “Lord,” I prayed, “let this third child love You as I do.”
Even when my wife and I were making love, I kept practicing the presence, and praying that the child who came to us would have a spiritual disposition. I was aware of the moment of conception, and felt inwardly, “Your prayer has been answered.”
The son that was born to us has always been deeply spiritual. When he was old enough I taught him to meditate, suggesting that five to ten minutes would be enough at the beginning. He sat down and focused deeply for almost an hour with no apparent effort. He is still a young man, but so far he seems to have the spiritual disposition I prayed for.