On this season's inaugural episode of "Pastoralia," we pick up where we left off last season, in the second of two episodes devoted to understanding Catholic parenting and child rearing.
My, how these children have grown in just a few months! Diapers and strollers have given way to increasingly independent pre-teens and teenagers. It is on these older children that we focus in this episode, again steadying ourselves on perennial Catholic thinking, rather than the absurd and dangerous maxims of the world.
We begin our discussion with the Fourth Commandment, which requires us to honor our parents, not merely to obey them. Should a child need to be corrected, we address how to reprove a child without cultivating an unhealthy fear of his parents, while keeping in mind the words of St. Paul, "Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they be discouraged" (Col. 3:21).
Our conversation continues as we explore how to cultivate independence in our children, teaching them how to make their own wise decisions, but in such a way that still protects their souls and bodies from danger.
Children learning a healthy, Catholic self-reliance often benefit from a good balance between the demands made in maturity and a continued need for recreation. In this portion of the episode, we find out that balance is critical.
What, then, of a child who has become so disproportionately filled with a spirit of independence that he rebels against his parents or the Church? We work through this particular effect of Original Sin, and offer a means of choosing to control and harness rebellion, directing it against those vices which are worthy of adolescent contempt.
Finally, we ease our way into dating and courtship, not only as part of the process of choosing a state of life, but as something which requires care and virtue to be practiced by the young. Fraught with the potential for serous spiritual harm, we also explain the need to keep the home as a spiritual safe haven.
Join Fr. Stephen McKenna of St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church in West Chester, Ohio (and many mission chapels) and host Joshua Gunsher in this month's episode of "Pastoralia."
Pastoralia℗ is a Production of the Restoration Radio Network. Copyright 2015. All Rights are Reserved.