So there we have it!!
Paragraph 2221 says, “The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’ The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.”
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike wax poetic on how grateful he is that The Lord called him to be a priest instead of having children…
The modern education system attempts to hopefully build on what parents have conveyed to their children
But teachers can’t do that
Teachers are not just shaping young minds, they are shaping people
No matter how good the teacher, the teacher cannot take the role of the parent
At the end of the day, there is only so much a teacher can do
Almost no one can replace the role of a parent in education
Paragraph 2222 says, “Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God’s law.”
A child does not exist for the sake of their parents
A parent does not exist for the sake of the child
They are persons created for their own sake
Paragraph 2223 says, “Parents must have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery-the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.’ Parents have a grave responsibility to give good examples to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them: He who loves his son will not spare the rod…He who disciplines his son will profit by him. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
This paragraph does not talk about where the children learn math, spelling, social sciences, etc.
Because we are not just creating the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, doctors, nurses, teachers, etc.
We are trying to raise PEOPLE
We are trying to raise SAINTS
That is the GOAL of education
It is not just intellectual formation even though that is very important
It is HUMAN FORMATION
So what is DISINTERESTED SERVICE?
It is serving not because you get something out of it, but because it is for the other’s good and is freely given
Who are the hardest people to love?
The ones we are related to
Sound judgment, self-denial, and self mastery are the hardest to live out when you are with your family
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about his students coming to a realization when they go home for Thanksgiving…
Parents should teach their children self denial, sound judgment, and self mastery
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about the frustrated mom who felt like a hypocrite for the way she tried to teach her kids…
This is actually giving the children the gift of actually letting them see her
They not only see her ideals and her aspirations
They also see her fail
When they see her fail, they have to see where she goes when she fails
The same children that see her sin should also see her go to Confession
She needs to teach her kids and ask them for forgiveness and teach them how to ask for forgiveness and forgiveness from the Lord
She teaches them what it is like to be a real human being who is striving after holiness and isn’t there yet
Paragraph 2225 says, “Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the ‘first heralds’ for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.”
Let’s listen to the next story of Fr. Mike and parents who think they should let their children choose their faith…
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE, THE WORLD WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU BELIEVE 🤯 🤯 🤯
There is no such thing as a blank slate
There are false gods who are vying for your children’s attention and they are telling your child how to look at the world
Those voices are telling your child how to see others
Those voices are telling your child how to see the universe around them
The world around us is constantly shaping us
If you abdicate or refuse the role of shaping the worldview of your child, that is an abdication of the role of being a parent and it is so deadly and dangerous
What is the reason why you are Catholic?
There should only be ONE reason
BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE IT IS TRUE!!
So if you believe something is true, would you allow your child to just do their own thing and hopefully find the truth
Would you actually show them the truth and help them see the reasons why it is true?
We can’t force faith on anyone
We can tell our children that they are going to Mass with us
We can tell our children that they are going to the school that we want them to attend
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s analogy between taking kids to Mass and what kids eat…
Why in the world would we just throw our children to the wolves by saying we won’t impart the Faith by making them go to Mass?
Paragraph 2226 says, “Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community at the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.”
Fr. Mike’s parents gave him a gift by making him go to Mass even though he hated going as a kid
The idea of doing whatever it takes to get to Sunday Mass, no matter what, is in his bones even if he were not a priest
The second gift is the ability to walk into any Catholic Church anywhere in the world and realize it is part of our inheritance
Let’s listen to another Fr. Mike story about baptized Catholics who were not really raised Catholic…
Every Catholic Church you walk into, you are a part of this Church and you have rights here and also responsibilities
Paragraph 2227 says, “Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents. Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in forgiving one another for offenses, quarrels, injustices, and neglect. Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.”
Paragraph 2229 says, “As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.”
The next Fr. Mike story is about him going to public school…
There are great teachers in parochial schools and in public schools
What is the ethos of those schools?
There are plenty of Catholic schools that are Catholic in name but not Catholic in what your children will get
There are plenty of public schools with great teachers as well
Parents have to be careful about where they are sending their kids to school
Let’s listen to the next Fr. Mike story about University of Minnesota-Duluth…
Wherever you choose to send your kids to school, or wherever you are going to go to school, you have a right to choose a school which corresponds to your own convictions
Paragraph 2230 says, “When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life. They should assume their new responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents, willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not prevent them-quite the contrary-from giving their children judicious advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.”
Let’s listen to another Fr. Mike story about students at University of Minnesota-Duluth who are discerning religious life…
The people who are standing in their way the most when they discern religious life are their own parents
Parents get to give counsel and their thoughts
Parents get to have an opinion
Parents may NOT make the choice FOR them
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT…