Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"The Little Way of Lent"

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,

 

4 comments:

  1. I think we could all use that uplifting thought and it really can be applied to parenting very well. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I just went through a similar struggle with one of my teenage sons. I KNEW what was the right thing to do but by talking to others, it caused me to feel confused, over-reactive, and second guessing myself. That is why good holy friendships were always encourged by St. Teresa of Avila. The secular world does not see situations as those who are following God's will. Bless you~Theresa

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  3. Thanks for sharing this post! I am reading Grace-Based Parenting right now which has encouraged me along the same lines with my parenting. Worldly influences and their effect on my child can sometimes be daunting, but God gives me the strength to raise my child up in the truth, which will eventually give my child strength to stand against improper influences.

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  4. this looks like a 'must' for me -

    hope you are well :)

    xo!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Valerie