Thursday, March 15, 2012
Feast of Saint Louise de Marillac
Good morning. What I find especially alarming in my interactions with parents these days is how as parents they either have simply abdicated any sense of responsible governance for the healthy formation of their children; or that they are simply insensible when it comes to the detriment of allowing their children to view things such as Family Guy, or engage in hack and slash video games, or imagine if you will leaving a child in the privacy of their own room with a television or computer. What are these people thinking? I’m sorry, I truly don’t mean to preach, but when folks come into my office and they want to know “What’s wrong with Johnny that he won’t mind?” or “Why is our son not minding at school or why is he being such a bully?” while they remain oblivious to the detriments the activities mentioned hold for the healthy formation of a child I just want to scream.
As I write this the arrival of our first grandchild is imminent, and as I consider the future for this child I have no sense of anxiousness because I know with certainty that the future for this child is in good hands. I know this for a variety of reasons, and just one very good reason is that both the mother’s parents (God bless John and Betty!) and the dad’s parents had the sense to forbid their children to watch Power Rangers when they were growing up. Most importantly, the life experiences of both households was one in which the parents, despite whatever else might have been going on, when it came to the parenting of their children they knew to approach the task of parenting as a team. In today’s Gospel Jesus notes that a house divided will not stand. As a marriage and family counselor I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this lesson. Parents no matter what need to present a united front to their children. It deeply saddens me to hear parents quibble over “being tired of being the bad parent.”
Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint Louise de Marillac, foundress of the Sisters of Charity and Patroness of Social Workers. She offers to us as parents a very powerful and important message in the works of her life. Under the tutelage of two other great saints, Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Vincent de Paul, she came to spend her life helping the poor, and most importantly helping them know the goodness and love of their Creator. She offers an important lesson for us as parents in that she knew the importance of helping others come to recognize and know of God’s love for us and His desire for each one of us to utilize to the best of our ability those gifts which we are given, no matter the circumstances life offers. Parenting is a challenging task, requiring much patience and love, but if we look to God for direction in all we do He will not fail us. As parents it is our job to encourage, challenge, and inspire our children to be everything they can be and in doing so to give glory to the One who gives them life. May we, through the intercession of Saint Louise, receive the graces needed to be the best possible parents, and may we have the wisdom and courage to provide the necessary direction for our children’s lives. When in doubt, pray. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Louise de Marillac.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 8:56 AM