Monday, July 16, 2012
Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Good morning. We all have various types of relationships. If we are lucky we may have friends, individuals in our lives who we can truly count on for their loyalty and trust, and of course enjoy spending time with. Parents and children are not friends. There is, or at least there should be, a clear distinction in the authority and responsibility in their relationship. As parents we make challenging and difficult decisions in the best interest of our children. With friends, we act as equals, and this is not the case with our children. I often hear parents express to me in my office that “I never used to talk to my parents the way my children talk to me.” They say this all the while suggesting to being clueless as to how to bring some order back into the relationship.
Jesus offers some insight into this struggle with today’s Gospel message. As He prepares His apostles for going out into the world with His message, He reminds them that His message will not always be well received. So it is with parenting, our children will not always like what we have to say. An inevitable outcome of being a good parent is that our children will not always like our decision, and so it is with Christ’s message of love. Much as there is a price for being true to living out the Gospel in our lives, there likewise is a price to be paid for being a responsible and loving parent. Our children are not our friends, and they will not always like our decisions. The problem often experienced by the parent in my office, aghast at how their child is speaking to them, is more times than not the result of permissive parenting. Permissive parents tend to avoid confrontation, and often take on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.
Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is one of numerous titles given to our Blessed Mother. She is the patron saint of the Carmelite Order, as well as the contemplative religious congregation known as the Carmelites. As Christians, we are on a journey, and our Blessed Mother offers a wonderful example of what it means to be a Christian parent. She often was called upon to make decisions trusting upon God’s will and providence and she likely established rules and guidelines that Jesus was expected to follow and at times taking measures which disappointed the Child Jesus. We all need friends, but the task of parenting does not allow for being friends with our children if our intention is to raise our children to take charge of their lives responsibly. As parents we have been given a mission by God, a mission which is often challenging and at times friendless, yet He will always give us the resources and the grace to carry it out. We have a friend in Jesus. Make a great day!
Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 6:48 AM