Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feast of Saint Patrick

Good morning. Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick and in today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that if we ask, God will provide, but we probably shouldn’t stand around and wait for it to land in our laps. Instead we need to be about doing our part as God looks favorably upon those who help themselves. This brings to mind that I live in a predominantly German community where St Patrick doesn’t really get too much recognition, but today’s Gospel brings to mind that I live among people who know well how to live simply and who are very self-reliant. In fact, these good folks are so frugal, that the joke is they squeeze a nickel until the buffalo toots. Most importantly, the good folks whom I call neighbor and family do not hesitate to dig-in and scrape-up their knuckles and knees to get a job done. They are a very self-reliant and God fearing people, but not inclined toward waiting on God to drop anything in their laps. Living simply and being self-reliant is not a bad thing, in fact these qualities have been things many people typically aspired to embrace. There was a time we attempted to instill in our children a sense of self-reliance. It seems however these days that parents have pretty much abandoned this idea of trying to instill in their children the idea of learning to do for themselves. One area where this really jumps out at me is the lacking number of children who walk to school these days. I am amazed at the amount of children who get dropped off and picked-up daily by a parent or other adult. I just don’t get it. One of the joys of my childhood was walking to and from school everyday. In fact, walking home at the end of our day was often an adventure for my two brothers and me. Another area I’ve noticed is that many children seem unable to independently attend to homework these days; in fact I’ve counseled children whose parents have actually been known to do their child’s homework. This not only doesn’t instill self-reliance, but it fosters dependency and laziness. And, it’s cheating! There seems to be an ever growing trend toward parents being reluctant to have their children experience any sort of discomfort, challenge, or even threat of failure and so they spend their ever waking moment micro-managing their children’s lives. There in fact has developed amongst teaching circles a term for these parents, they have come to be known as “helicopter parents.” I have to wonder at the far-reaching effects this trend toward coddling our children will have. I don’t know. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but it seems to me that a crucial part of learning to ride a bicycle or taking on the challenges the world offers is to occasionally take a spill. What do you think? Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Patrick.

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