Holy Family

Holy Family

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feast of Saint Anthony the Abbot

Good morning. The art of parenting tends to be rather challenging and it certainly can be a topic for much disagreement. Nearly everyone has an opinion regarding the topic of parenting, and despite an overwhelming amount of research regarding parenting techniques which are effective the discussion continues. An area where there is considerable evidence is in the area of parental style and how a child comes to perceive their self. The research suggests that authoritativeness leads to a child’s development of positive self-regard whereas an authoritarian parenting style lends itself to a child having a poor self-regard. In today’s readings the idea of authority and how it is approached is discussed. In the first reading Samuel is in the process of searching for a suitable candidate to be King of the Israelites. Samuel has some reservations regarding whether having an earthly king is a good idea, he is fearful that such authority might be misused, but he obediently responds to God’s commands. In the Gospel for today Jesus suggests that proper use of authority requires the wisdom to see beyond the letter of the law. So it is with parenting; we are called to rule over our children but not as earthly kings, but as a heavenly king who is a servant to his family. We need only look to Jesus for an example to follow. Jesus came to serve; He is constantly reaching out to us, never gives up on us, and is never discouraging. We are called to be likewise in our parenting efforts. As parents our authority is given to us by God, and we will be asked to account for how we use it. We likewise have much to learn from the spirituality of Saint Anthony the Abbot whose life we commemorate today. Hardly any of us can leave what we are doing and go off to live in a desert cave, but we can make time to be more attentive to God’s presence in our lives. As parents we can take some time each day, perhaps a few quiet moments every morning to place ourselves in God’s presence to ask for direction in our tasks as parents, to ask Him to be with us in our parenting decisions. We can look to the words of Saint Anthony, “Wherever you go, have God before your eyes.” May we have the grace today to always seek God in all that we do. Make a great day!

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

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