Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.
St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, Chapter VIII
Earlier this month, I mentioned that I found some new materials at the Catholic bookstore to support me in my Lenten journey.
In addition to some materials for my children, I discovered this...
It has been a most-inspiring read...as I guessed it would be!
Remember, yesterday, how I mentioned that I have been quiet...listening for messages. (It is so important to just "be" at times...for if we don't ever stop to listen, we can miss the message among the chaos of day to day living!)
Recently, some of life's chaos has been clouding my judgment with regards to a parenting situation.
Discussions with my parents/siblings/girlfriends have done little to alleviate my "anxiety" about this particular situation. Rather, I was just generating noise.
And then I read these passages for Friday of Week One from "The Little Way of Lent"...
Prayer at the Altar
"Too often it can seem as if the greatest obstacle to loving one's neighbors is the neighbors. Intemperate, unfaithful, vulgar, immoral, and just plain selfish people are difficult to love. Perhaps if they were better Christians, "keeping God's statutes and doing what is right and just," it would be effortless to love them."
"Yet a lack of love prohibits genuine prayer and stains whatever is offered to God. That's why Jesus tethers loving one's neighbor to the altar. No gift should be brought before God if the heart of the giver is weighed down by problems with his brother."
"Living out the two great commandments doesn't oblige me to become friends with the entire body of Christ; it obliges me to stop marking their inequities and to instead help them stand before the Lord."
And that was it...
...the message that I needed to hear to help me discern what, in fact, I needed to do with regard to my parenting dilemma.
In today's society, where secularism and relativism rules, where many of our "neighbors" claim atheism or agnosticism as their "religion" it can be a challenge to raise our children in a traditional faith. What I have come to realize through my Lenten readings and prayer is that it is my job is to make sure that my children are deeply rooted in faith, hope, and love so that outside messages, while heard, are not internalized.
A challenge for certain...but not an impossibility!
Wishing you a peaceful Tuesday,