Family Tip 16 - Saintly Role Models
“Let everything take second place to our care of our children,
our bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord!”
St. John Chrysostom
When life starts to unfold for a child, has he been equipped with a mentor to help him deal with a variety of life situations as a true Catholic, faithful in every way to the spirit and teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ?
Is he ready with answers to essential questions:
• What does a saint do when made fun of and laughed at?
• How does a saint deal with financial difficulties?
• What did a specific saint do in the face of temptation?
• What does sanctity require when I have to conquer my own will in a society that preaches the deification of personal desires and wants?
Do we give our children the chance to really get to know the saints and choose them as mentors?
Will our children know:
1. How St. Camillis de Lellis overcome his gambling addiction?
2. Where St. Maria Goretti found the strength and courage to stay pure?
3. What did St. Paul do to manage his life-long temptation?
4. How did St. Therese stay innocent and grow in love for Our Lord?
5. What did St. Francis of Assisi do during the Crusades: was he really just an animal-lover and environmentalist, or was he a strong and heroic champion for the Truth? Or both?
What do we do in every situation to learn what we want to learn? We study. We take courses. We read.
So, if we want to go to Heaven and be with God for all eternity then we need to make an effort, we need to study, we need to learn. But not just some short little stories from this saint or that saint. We need to study in depth and to master the subject matter.
By doing this, we set an example for our children. And we introduce the saintly mentoring program to them.
1. Children will behave better.
2. They will have a model to contrast with false Hollywood ones they will inevitably be exposed to.
3. They will eventually inspire their own parents and be for them a great source of joy.
1. Have them choose a saint. One that they are attracted to after you have given them an overview of that saint's life and acts of virtue.
2. Then just as at school, the child goes from K – 12 and beyond, so also with the life of that saint. Encourage them to really, really know what they are talking about. Start a young child off with a short picture book on that saint. Then perhaps the next year have them read a larger book or history of the saint. Then the next year have them do a report on the important dates and events in the life of that saint.
3. If you get the child interested in a saint, by the time they hit the teenage years you can introduce them to some of the writings of their favorite saint. As time goes on, the child will learn the life, the writings, the virtue, the challenges, the feats and the achievements of that saint. The mentoring has happened.
It is certain that the superheroes produced by Marvel and DC will pale in comparison with men and women who have resurrected the dead, moved mountains with a simple command and thrown thousands of demons back into Hell. This will engender admiration and regard for the saints and for virtuous lives.
Furthermore, in being acquainted with the saint’s writings, the teenager will begin acquiring some substantial knowledge that will help guide his or her steps in life.
Children Need Guidance: But all this will depend on parents. If the parent convinces himself or herself that this whole idea is a "pie in the sky" it will never happen. But what is so big or difficult about getting their own children interested in the lives of saints?
Do it and the outcome will be astonishing. Fight the modern culture which is not only evil but it has also taken a turn towards insanity.
Beware the warning: As the children in your life grow in admiration and in the practice of virtue, so will you too be pressured to do the same.
Not a bad situation…..that is, if you and your family are among those who believe that God has the right to be obeyed and that He will one day judge everyone, both the living and the dead.
DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Julie Billiart
He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.