Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feast of Blessed Florentina Nicol Goni

Good morning. Parenting is a challenge, no ands, ifs, buts about it, and I think that perhaps the most important measurement of whether we have succeeded is twofold: 1.Our children grow-up to be adults who leave this world a better place. 2. Our children spend eternity with God. In the Gospel for today Jesus offers us some guidance regarding our parenting challenge. Jesus assures us that if we successfully instruct our children to be compassionate in their interaction with others they will be rewarded. “Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, Amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” (Mk 9: 41). Teaching compassion is probably one of the most important things we can teach our children. Yet, like all virtues it cannot be simply taught but it must be experienced, and so as parents we must offer our own selves as example for our children to experience the virtue of compassion. Compassion is not to be confused with pity, for pity is not a virtue. Compassion is to embrace the misfortune or suffering of another, to share in their experience. Our modern world is often confused by this as it lacks the tolerance and understanding for suffering. It is our responsibility to instill the virtue of compassion as well as the other virtues in our children. If as parents we are successful in having our children embrace the virtue of compassion then they will do what is right when invited by God to respond to the need of others. There are various ways as parents to instill the virtue of compassion in our children, but our example will certainly have the most impact. Demonstrations of affection and the exchange of affectionate words between parents will provide a catalyst for our children to model our behavior as they wants to be like us. Our example speaks louder then words. Other things we can do as parents are to point out acts of compassion we might encounter with our child. We might invite them to share in the care of a younger child and seizing various teaching moments toward better understanding the role of compassion in caring for a child. The use of stories and the lives of the saints offer wonderful opportunities to experience the virtue of compassion. With the season of Lent approaching we might consider getting the family involved in some type of volunteer service, helping at the local food pantry or volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul or perhaps participating in Catholic Relief Services Operation Rice Bowl. If as parents we successfully instill the virtue of compassion in our children the rewards will be eternal. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts and works of Blessed Florentina Nicol Goni.

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