Today's Gospel: John 15, 9-17 - St. Matthias
As a mother, how often must you tell your children: "No"? How many times do you have to explain that, even though some activity or choice may be acceptable (and probably "cool") by her friends' standards, it is not something which we do? Have you ever been subject to the door-slamming tirade of a child who is sure she is the victim of out-of-date parents with stupid rules? It hurts. And especially when other parents, whom you thought were reasonable or even your friends, allow their children to participate in this activity, you can feel very lonely and even doubt yourself.
Stand firm. When you hold your child to God's standard, you are loving your child in the best possible way, and giving her the freedom that abiding in the truth can give. Jesus asks us to abide by His commandments "so that my joy can be in you." When a child is allowed to follow the subjective "truths" of modern fashion or ideologies, she becomes a slave to outside influences and popular thought . If she determines what is right, not by the eternal truth of God's natural law, but by what the majority assures her is right, then she is a rudderless ship which floats in the direction of that day.
By teaching your child to follow the eternal, unchangeable, immutable natural law of God, she builds her life - and reputation - upon a solid rock which will never let her down and will keep her high above the stormy and changing seas of life. Allow His joy to always be in you and your children. Follow His commandments, and let the joy of His freedom live within you. (Believe me, in the end, your children will thank you!)
As God is our Father, how does He show how much He loves us by asking us to live up to His commands? How is His joy and freedom given to us by following His commands? How can we as parents set the best example for our children in following God's commands and living in His joy?
Lord, please grant me the grace to hear, to accept, and to follow your commands, knowing that Your eternal law was born out of Your love for me and my family. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Cynthia Millen
After marrying her husband, Jim Roberts, in 1980, Cynthia Millen graduated from law school and practiced in Ohio for a short while. Excited about having a large family, Jim and Cindy were blessed more quickly than expected with the birth of five children in four years (two set of twins). Her love for reading and writing grew into the publication of several children's books (under the name C. M. Millen), poems and short stories (including a 2014 Tuscany Prize winner). Millen earned her Masters in Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, and relishes the teaching (and learning) of reading, writing, and grammar with middle school students at Christ the King School in Toledo, Ohio. Most of all, she treasures attending Mass there with wonderful parishioners and truly marvelous priests.