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FAMILY – GOD’S FUNDAMENTAL INSTITUTION.  
  Posted On : 04 Jan 2017   Posted by Fr. Editorial  
 

FAMILY – GOD’S FUNDAMENTAL INSTITUTION.

“Family, like the branches on a tree, all grow in different directions, and yet the roots remain as one.”
When God created Adam and Eve he blessed them to increase and multiply over all the earth.  God thus founded the concept of family.  Adam’s family was the first to occupy the earth.  God created man and woman as one being and commanded no one to separate them.  He put His seal of approval on this union.  Since then technological and scientific progress of mankind has left its positive and negative effects on the family.  Traditional values, the discipline of a time of prayer in families, time spent together as a family have all vanished in the face of modernism and the fast life of the people.  Everyone wants his or her ‘space’ and does not like ‘interference’ of another in his or her life.   This is the sad situation of the family today because of which most families have major adjustment issues if not falling apart altogether.

 

ROLE OF PARENTS IN THE FAMILY:     By God’s decree man is the head of the family.  Ideally a husband plays the role of a provider, a companion to his wife and as a father, a strict disciplinarian.  A woman is the heart of the family.  Her loving presence binds the family and brings about unity.  What a woman lacks in terms of physical strength, she makes up by her emotional stability.  She is the shock¬- absorber in the family.  Every family should be a family that prays together to be united.  However, in this present time man lacks nothing but ‘Time’ and hides behind this excuse for not praying.  Luxuries, wealth, comforts are all taken care of with hard work but the general statement heard in many families is “We have no time to pray” or “We say our individual prayers before sleeping.”  Little do they realize that the enemy is slowly robbing them of peace and their children are becoming out of control because the wall of protection that prayer provides has been lowered allowing the enemy to infiltrate in.  Therefore, it is imperative that parents instill the habit of prayer into their children from their very early years.  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Parents are role models for growing children in the family.  Parents who quarrel in front of their children cause many psychological problems to develop in them.  Children who grow up in a loving atmosphere can concentrate on their studies and build up a career for themselves.  They are free from emotional trauma.  Children who are subjected to violent fights in the house are fearful, insecure, always wondering if they will be part of a broken family.  Such children seek comfort, acceptance and guidance from friends and are more often led into bad habits like smoking, drinking and use of drugs to live in a state of euphoria because they lack peace at home.  A growing child can sense the behavior pattern of parents.  Children are very perceptive and can pick up signals both positive and negative.  For instance, if both parents are not agreeable on the matter of discipline then the child will play one parent against the other.  The child will complain to the parent who favours it about the parent who is trying to discipline.  This often leads to arguments between the spouses.  So it is necessary for both parents to be of one mind while disciplining their children. 

 

God blesses the married couple with children.   He appoints them as custodians of their children’s soul.  Parents are responsible and answerable to God for the souls of their children.  Hence it is their duty as parents to discipline them, teach them good morals and values.  Today’s children are subjected to peer-pressure and they imitate what their friends do.  From an early age parents must monitor the type of friends their children have.  Children and youth demand money from their parents.  Parents relent by giving them money either to pamper them or to get rid of their irritating persistence for money.  This is the root cause of children going astray.  Without money they cannot do much.  By giving them money, they won’t value it and most often spend it on pursuing bad habits ‘just because their friends are doing it’.   Parents usually say ‘Yes’ to all of their children’s demands.  This is a wrong practice.  From the time children are small parents must say ‘No’ to their children’s demands.  Only then will they accept a ‘No’ when they become youth.  A child who is used to having ones own way from childhood will not be any different when it becomes a youth.  It is difficult to bend a mature plant for it will break but the plant can be well bent when it is tender. 

 

Parents who find that their youth have gone astray and far from God must not despair.  God loves every soul he has created and wants to save everyone.  This is evident from Jesus’ parables of the Good Shepherd and lost sheep, the Prodigal Son etc.  Parents have to have faith in God, believing that He, more than anyone else, wants to save the soul of their son or daughter.  A mother’s supplication before the Lord is a strong one.  Her tears before the Lord will not go unnoticed or ignored.  God in His own time will bring back the erring soul to His sheep-fold.  He may use circumstances and a little pruning but if the parents keep faith in His mercy He will surely turn the impossible situation into something beautiful.  It is all a matter of faith.   Faith comes from hearing the Word of God hence it is said, “Blessed is the family who delights in the Word of the Lord and meditates on it day and night.  The family will be like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in its season.”    Parents who are themselves spiritual may have youth who do not join in family prayer or read the Word of God.  Some may not even attend Sunday Mass.  This hurts the parents who themselves love the Lord and when they see their children not having the same love for God causes them to despair.  Let not the enemy rob you of your peace.  Prayer is the key that unlocks many doors.  Parents must pray with faith and know that the Lord will always hear their prayers on behalf of their children.  

 

ROLE OF CHILDREN TOWARDS THEIR PARENTS:    Eph.6:1-4: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.  Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
The above text from scripture shows that it is God’s will that children and youth remain subjected to their parents.  If the commandment of honouring ones parents is followed diligently, many blessings are given to such children.  God will be with all that they do and the work of their hands will prosper.  Obedience to parents is like being obedient to God which pleases Him.  Parents have learnt life’s lessons by making mistakes and gained experience.  So it will do well for children and youth to listen to what their parents say.   Sons and daughters must also take care of their parents in their old age as they have taken care of them since their birth.   “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”– Mother Teresa.

 

Leona D’Souza
O.C.D.S.

 

 

 
     
 
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Daily Readings
 April 23rd, 2018
ACTS 11:1-18
Thought of the day
    April 23rd, 2018 ACTS 11:1-18 Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter Lectionary: 279 Reading 1 The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, saying, 'You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them." Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying, "I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when in a trance I had a vision, something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. Looking intently into it, I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. I also heard a voice say to me, 'Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.' But I said, 'Certainly not, sir, because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' But a second time a voice from heaven answered, 'What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.' This happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into the sky. Just then three men appeared at the house where we were, who had been sent to me from Caesarea. The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house. He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying, 'Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.' As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, 'John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?" When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, "God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too." Responsorial Psalm PS 42:2-3; 43:3, 4 R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Alleluia JN 10:14 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel JN 10:1-10 Jesus said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
     
St. Joseph church, Krista Shanti Dham; St. Joseph Nagar; Mira Road (East) Thane District - 401107
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