Holy Family

Holy Family

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feast of Saint Joan of Arc

Good morning. There is unlikely any task more challenging and thankless than that of being a parent. It is truly one of sacrifice. Just as Jesus notes in today's Gospel that He came “not to be served but to serve,” so it is for parents. This is particularly challenging in today’s culture with so much emphasis upon individualism.

It is of interest how our culture manages to spin virtuous self-sacrifice with the mantra of self-serving individualism. We see this clearly with American feminism and their presentation of Joan of Arc, our saint for today, as an icon of abandoning the drudgery of self-sacrificing fidelity to children and family, emulating her individualism instead of her virtuous fidelity and gift of self. Today’s culture tends to encourage individuals toward being self-absorbed and indifferent to the needs of others.

 Is it any wonder that parents these days curtail the number of children, lest the needs and demands of children impinge upon our own selfish fulfillment? This tendency toward self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice erodes the very fiber of family stability. Being good Christian parents by its very definition is counter cultural; it requires we go in a different direction with our lives than what society suggests we go. Being a Christian parent requires us to journey downward instead of upward, to serve rather than to be served.

Parenting these days is often spoken of with disdain. Why, just a few weeks ago, Hilary Rosen, a Democratic Party advisor and strategist, was quoted as saying in reference to Ann Romney who raised five now-grown sons that she had "never worked a day in her life." This is not a new position, who can forget Hillary Rodham Clinton's 1992 remark that instead of working as a lawyer, she "could have stayed home and baked cookies." We without a doubt live in a society which does not revere family and the ideals of self-sacrifice. Yet, the Christian home and family at its best is a sanctum from a selfish, self-serving world. We are not called “to be served but to serve.” Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Joan of Arc.

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