Holy Family

Holy Family

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Feast of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

Good morning. Upon reading today’s Gospel this morning from the Book of Matthew my thoughts turned to thoughts of the secular storm that has overtaken our society. Unlike some storms which we can see approaching us from the horizon, the secular storm that has overtaken our society is more like that described by the author of today’s Gospel story,it rose up out of nowhere like a tsunami. It has risen up within our culture in a cataclysmic manner. The rejection and perpetual challenges put forth by our culture of the various truths we have come to know regarding marriage and family make it increasingly difficult for well intentioned Christians to faithfully live the vocation of marriage and family life. Where once parents could rely upon responsible scrutiny of the media, such is no longer true; trailers leaving very little to the imagination are run prior to the start of movies, and commercials of most any despicable nature pop-up on our living room television screens, and family trips to the grocers are met with near pornographic tabloids at the check-out. For those of us who grew-up in the 50’s we likely remember the television broadcasters' Seal of Good Practice? You might be interested in taking time to read the broadcasters' code of practice of by-gone days. Everywhere we look we see violence and promiscuous behavior glamorized. And too, are we alert to the various activities or programming our children are subjected to which entice selfish or self-absorbed life choices? It has become nearly impossible to protect our children (I might likewise add us parents) from the seducing snares of our secular society. Like the Apostles in the boat, we sometimes find ourselves lacking in faith and cry out in desperation, uncertain of our ability or God’s grace to see us through the storm. As Christian parents we can weather this storm but we need to be increasingly vigilant regarding what our children are being exposed to, we no longer can rely upon or assume that others are looking out for our children’s moral well being, certainly not the media. We must provide for our children opportunities to experience the goodness and beauty which does exist around us, and challenge ourselves as well with living simpler less materialistic lives. And what better way to see our way through this secular storm than to join together as a family with God in prayer and the sacraments. We must assume responsibility for our children’s moral formation. Stephen Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, notes that as parents we must begin with the end in mind, which recalls for me the poetry of Blessed Pope John Paul II: “Here, then—we look and see the Beginning, which came forth from nothingness in obedience to the Creative Word. It speaks from these walls, yet it is the End that speaks even more powerfully.” As parents may we always have the grace to keep our eye on the goal—for it speaks to us more powerfully. Make a great day!

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

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