Monday, April 30, 2012
Feast of Pope Saint Pius V
Good morning. Having raised sheep I can tell you they are not very gifted in the area of intelligence. They rely heavily on each other and tend to be fairly helpless and unable to provide for themselves and without the oversight of a good shepherd they would be in dire straits. Jesus in today’s Gospel refers to us as being His sheep. We are much smarter than sheep; yet, unlike sheep, we don’t always respond as we should to the voice of our Shepherd.
We are the shepherds of our children. Within the family children are shepherded and provided everything needed towards becoming virtuous and productive human beings. The role of the parent in this formation is much like that of the good shepherd, it is governed by love, a love which places itself "at the service of children to draw forth from them the best that is in them" and which "finds its fullest expression precisely in the task of educating." Under the guidance of good shepherds no harm comes to the children and they learn to make prudent decisions, to be virtuous and to love and be loved. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church notes that the importance of the family with regards to the formation of the child and the family’s importance to the common good of society are frequently noted throughout scripture. It is further noted that it is within the family that one best comes to appreciate the image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
But beware! Much as there are wolves and other predators looking to attack the flock of sheep, there are people stalking about to capture the souls of our children. They are lingering about in the malls, on television, and in the movies awaiting the opportunity to promote the secular lies of lust, and consumerism. They lie in wait in the media, in even in our schools. There are wolves out there awaiting the opportunity to fill our children’s heads with half-truths regarding sexual behavior and suggestions that consumerism and immediate self-gratification are the keys to self-fulfillment and happiness in this life. As the shepherds of our children we must stand ready to protect our children from becoming bewildered by the deceptions and lies of the modern world.
Our Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio wrote regarding the role of parents: “For Christian parents the mission to educate, a mission rooted, as we have said, in their participation in God's creating activity, has a new specific source in the sacrament of marriage, which consecrates them for the strictly Christian education of their children: that is to say, it calls upon them to share in the very authority and love of God the Father and Christ the Shepherd, and in the motherly love of the Church, and it enriches them with wisdom, counsel, fortitude and all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to help the children in their growth as human beings and as Christians.”
May we look to the Holy Family for guidance in our roles as shepherds for our children and may we have the wisdom and grace to provide the light necessary to help our children find their way. Pope Pius V, our Saint for today, served as a Protector of the Church against the perils of the sixteenth century world, may we likewise protect our children from the perils of a world of the twenty-first century. As Christian parents we need to look to the scripture and the Church for direction toward protecting our children from the harm that awaits them and from allowing them to become befuddled by the confusion and deception of a secular society. As parents we must follow the Shepherd in order to successfully shepherd our flock. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Pope Saint Pius V.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 7:08 AM