Unfortunately, many Catholic parents think it is well enough to hand the responsibility of their children to others from an early age:
Listen to what this young father has to say:
This is the first of a new series of posts on the education of children, following up and elaborating on the 10 post series – Ten Commandments for the Education of Children. Is this topic really that important?
St. Alphonsus Liguori quotes Origen as saying:
“On the day of judgment parents shall have to render an account for all the sins of their children.”
In his homily entitled, On The Education Of Children, St. Alphonsus Liguori also says:
“And he shall save his soul by means of his children; that is, by the virtuous education which he has given them…… But, on the other hand, a very uneasy and unhappy death shall be the lot of those who have laboured only to increase their possessions, or to multiply the honours of their family; or who have sought only to lead a life of ease and pleasure, but have not watched over the morals of their children.”
St. Paul says, that such parents, who do not educate their children properly, are worse than infidels.
“But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim 5:8)
Back to St. Alphonsus – he says:
Even if fathers or mothers lead a life of piety and continual prayer, and go to Communion every day, they should be damned if they neglected the care of their children. (On The Education Of Children)
Video - My Family Will be Holy!
The vow that I made in the presense of the minister of God is an oath made with the intention of raising my children in holiness.
The Example of Dona Lucilia
Discerning the mentality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mothers usually encourage their children to identify their parents, and not uncommonly the very first words on the lips of a toddler are daddy or mommy. Dona Lucilia, however, did not do this: she taught her two children, Plinio and his sister Rosée, to recognize the Sacred Heart of Jesus before all else. When she asked “Where is Jesus?”, they would immediately look at and point to the statue.
… The author is led to believe that many of the events of Jesus’ life described by Dona Lucilia to her son, when he was young, penetrated so deeply into his soul that, based on his mother’s narrative, he was able to formulate a notion of what Our Lord must be like.
Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, A Prophet for Our Times, pp. 58-59
A Little Story
Here is an example of a simple short lesson a parent could teach their children in just a few minutes:
GOD MADE YOU TO BE HAPPY IN HEAVEN
My child, this world is not your home; you were made for Heaven; you were made to be happy for ever with God in His eternal kingdom. Oh! how good God has been to you!
Now, since you were not made for this world, but for Heaven, you ought often to think of your future home, where you will dwell with your Heavenly Father, and of the joys He has prepared for you there if you serve Him faithfully here on earth.
I WAS BORN FOR GREATER THINGS – St. Stanislaus Kostka
St. Stanislaus Kostka was born of a noble family, and was brought up amidst the splendours and luxuries of his princely position. But even in his infancy he despised all these things, and when he grew up he took the resolution of renouncing them all to embrace the holy poverty of a religious life.
When his friends were informed of his design they tried to draw him from it. They often spoke to him of the happiness he would one day enjoy in the possession of great wealth. They pointed out to him the beauties of the vast domains of his ancestors, and the magnificence of the princely palace which would one day be his home. In a word, they placed before the eyes of his body as well as of his mind everything they thought would fascinate them.
Stanislaus did indeed look at them, but he also looked higher still.
“My friends,” he one day said to them, “these things are very beautiful, but I was born for greater things. God, my Father in Heaven, made me to possess the eternal riches of Heaven, and to see Himself for ever there in His kingdom; therefore, I keep my eyes fixed on Heaven that I may not allow them to be captivated by earthly things, which are so vile and worthless, when compared with those of Paradise.”
(Rev. D. Chisholm, Catechism in Examples)
The Secret to Success
How was it that Charles knew all the test answers, if he had so little time to study, while Philip, who had studied for days on end, could not get one question right?!
After your children listen to a story have them tell it back to you with as much detail as they can remember. In little time, you will see the tremendous advantage in taking a few minutes to patiently stop and listen.
St. Stanislaus Kostka
Bursting into tears at the sight of that place in the hands of heretics, there became visible a company of angels radiant with glory amongst whom was one, more majestic than the rest.
Many children benefit from activities like colouring while they listen to a story, or alternatively, after listening to quietly think about what they heard. Here is a colouring page to accompany this story.
One Last Story...
Are you afraid your children will not remember anything you teach them? Read this:
The Hermit and his Baskets
“What is the use of my going to hear sermons?” said a hermit to his Superior, “I can never recall what has been said!”
The Superior, to show him he always gained some benefit from what he heard, told him to take one of his two baskets and bring him water in it from the river!
The hermit was surprised, but obeyed; three times he was asked to take the same basket and bring water; the Superior then asked him what difference he found now between that basket and the one he had left untouched.
“None,” he said, “unless perhaps the one that has been in the water looks cleaner than the other.”
“Just so,” replied the Superior: “as the basket could not retain the water, yet became cleaner each time it was put into the river, so your soul, though perhaps unable to retain all the instruction, yet derives much benefit from every sermon: continue therefore to frequent them.”
(Lives of the Fathers)
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