Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Deuteronomy, Chapter 2, Verse 4
Command the people: You are now about to pass through the territory of your relatives, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. Though they are afraid of you, be very careful.
When we receive the blessing of God; those who are not in the spirit can become afraid of you. Those that are beloved by God are those who revere and follow His commandments. When we are infused with the Spirit of God others can see it because the spirit within us is reflected in our physical presence. Our Lord wants to remind us even those who are close to us, even those who are relatives will be afraid of us and we must be very vigilant and be able to see in them simultaneously the humanity of Christ; to have peace while waging a war with evil. This peace comes because while in the presence of the Holy Spirit; we have heard things that cannot be put into words and we have experienced the truth mystically. By this truth we are compelled to follow Christ and at times we too must pass through the territory of our relatives; yet ever continuing our journey with Him. For in truth those who do His Fathers will are His brothers and sisters.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Faith is like having a telescope that allows us to see the distant that others cannot perceive.
Complete My Joy-
Technology in the Home: Establish Clear Digital Boundaries
134. Without establishing clear boundaries for digital devices at home, your “plan for spiritual life” can easily be undermined and even sabotaged. The digital era has brought about great opportunities to spread the Gospel, but we cannot remain naïve to the reality that technology can also bring about harm and even great evil to our homes. Pornography, violence, profanity, endless ideologies and angry political material are often available at the palm of your children’s hands. Therefore, parents must be careful about allowing their children the use of electronic devices, including phones, which today are hand-held portals to the Internet. Dear parents, it is my strong advice that whenever possible, you allow your children to be children, delay access to these digital devices and then restrict their use in favor of real play, real conversation, and real friendship.
135. I have known families that do not allow television and computers to be placed in private rooms, but only in more public spaces. Some have set specific times or curfews for the use of portable devices. Other families have decided not to allow access to portable devices until their children are ready to drive, or when there may be a need to know where they are in an emergency. All of these can be thoughtful solutions. You as parents know your children better than anyone else and must make those choices through prayer and discernment as well as knowledge of the addictive nature of these devices, a well-documented phenomenon. But make no mistake, you must have a plan, because technology has a logic to it, and the logic is “keep looking at the screen.” The gift of your time, which is a non-renewable resource, is given to you by God for experiencing real life.
Attitudes on Confession
You must emphasize the importance of the sacraments, especially Confession, and give your child ample opportunity to receive this sacrament, but never force or ridicule him in this matter. These are suggestions on maintaining the balance between privacy and following the parental role of making the sacraments readily available for your children. Most Catholic parents fully respect their child's right to privacy in regard to confession. Of course, you should not question him about what he told the priest, or what the priest told him. To do so would be depriving him of the right to privacy in confessional matters which is his. His decision to receive or not receive the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist also must be his to make.
While you must stand guard over your child's spiritual welfare, never place him in a position where his failure to confess or receive Communion will make him conspicuous. The reason for this warning is that a child who is unworthy to receive Communion or fears to confess his sins may be tempted to partake of the Holy Eucharist sacrilegiously if his failure to receive will make him stand out in the crowd. Before the rule for the Eucharistic Fast was relaxed, a person who did not wish to receive Communion might create an excuse by saying that he had inadvertently swallowed water. Since beverages one hour before Communion are now permitted, and water is permitted at any time, such an excuse is no longer valid. The person who does not wish to receive may find it more difficult to hide the fact that he may not be in a state of grace. Be doubly cautious, therefore, that you do not use pressure upon your child so that he receives unworthily to hide the existence of another sin.
Parents should be alert for opportunities to suggest the reception of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, however. If a child consistently resists the sacraments, they may fairly assume that he is troubled by some moral problem. Without mentioning the matter directly, a parent might tell him anew that God will forgive any sin and that any problems brought to the priest in the confessional will receive sympathetic consideration. Children may need to be reassured that they have nothing to fear in confessing their sins and that their secrets will be kept from all mankind. If your own attempts to encourage your child to frequent the sacraments prove unsuccessful, you should discuss the subject with your pastor.
The Way Penance
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
A whole programme for a good course in the 'subject' of suffering is given to us by the Apostle: spe gaudentes — rejoicing in hope, In tribulatione patientes — patient in troubles, orationi instantes — persevering in prayer.
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