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Family Tip 14 - Restoring Respect in the Family

 

Respect is:

  • the honor due to someone because of his or her position, authority, and/or level of responsibility
  • the understanding that something or someone is valuable, important and worthy and must be treated in an appropriate manner
  • the consequence of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by abilities, qualities, achievements and virtue.

If respect needs admiration to survive, what do we give our children to admire?

Society goes to great lengths to tear down and ridicule everything that could be or should be admirable. It pokes fun at fathers, mothers, family and authority of any kind. What can we do about it?

 

Benefits:

— You will help children learn how to revere and respect God and His Holy Church

— You will help others to love God

— You will be respected and respectable

— Children around you will learn respect for others

— You will avoid loneliness as respect and courtesy attracts and selfishness and rudeness repel

— You will store up in Heaven a great treasure for the good you have done for souls

 


Restoring Respect in the FamilyFour Tips on How to Restore Respect:


1 – Revere God and His Holy Church

Who is more worthy of respect than God Himself? And if a child is not taught to respect God who is truly worthy of all respect and all admiration, then it becomes difficult to teach a child to respect anyone else.

Children are taught through both word and deed, it is therefore imperative that adults in a position of authority or influence show how much they respect God.

The starting point is taking the children to Church, attending Mass and teaching them to pray by showing them that you pray. The Family Rosary is a wonderful step in this process. All activities cease and are considered secondary in order to dedicate a period of time to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. This teaches children that Our Lord and Our Lady are worthy of great respect.

Respect shown at Mass is crucial. If children are allowed to act in church the same way they act in the backyard at home, no respect will be cultivated.

When adults treat a church like an auditorium, speaking in loud voices, and conversing about things that have nothing to do with the Mass, the Church or piety, children are being taught that God and the Church are nothing different than everything else and that God deserves no special reverence or respect.

However, when adults are reverent, quiet, respectful and pious, it teaches children that God and the Church are worthy of unique respect and reverence.

  

2 – Be Respectable and Respect Yourself

Each of us are called to represent God to others. In a very unique way, parents represent God to their children. This also holds true for other family members. In a child’s mind, God is reflected by and oftentimes seen through the eyes, behavior, attitudes, body language, and verbal expressions of those around them. Sadly, and all too often, God is not made respectable by those who represent Him.

For example, if a person that the child perceives is greater than he, e.g. parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, teachers, etc., always responds with anger to any situation, then the child will begin to associate anger with authority. God is the ultimate authority, therefore He is always angry.

This, of course, leads to the inevitable conclusion of the responsibility that each of us has to reflect God appropriately as much as we are able.
Make yourself respectable. The more you respect yourself, the more others will be able to respect you.

Teach by example. Always improve yourself and make every effort to increase in virtue. If you suffer from impatience, always be improving in some way, so that children are able to notice improvement and admire and respect virtue through you.

“Do as I say and not as I do” is the destroyer of all respect! Never have this contradiction in your life. Always be a shining example of consistency for children. If you wish to teach children patience, be patient. If you wish to teach children to be disciplined, then you be disciplined in your own life and in your own affairs. This cultivates respect and admiration in children.

As St. Paul teaches, honor (respect) your spouse. Do not argue with your spouse. If you display anger and animosity toward your spouse, then children will learn to do the same to you. If you honor and respect your spouse always, children will learn to do the same to you and to others.

Avoid the perfection trap. Do not demand perfection that you do not have. Always encourage and require improvement, but do not destroy respect by requiring from children what you do not possess yourself.

Beware of pride and obstinacy. Nothing will undermine respect and admiration quicker.

Strive to have in yourself and in the home a balance of firmness and gentleness. The American model of a man who has to be rigid, stern, unforgiving and always right is very, very far from the Catholic model of manhood.

 

3 - Expect Respect

Never allow, permit or tolerate disrespect or rudeness. Be counter-cultural. Teach children that actions and behavior have consequences.

Establish clear and reasonable rules, expectations and guidelines in the home for every age. Every child will go through a time when he challenges authority. Understand that this happens, but never tolerate the behavior that accompanies it. Help them work through this time in their life with patience.

Put family first. Do not create or cultivate the lie that the child comes first. If you do this, then the child will become self-centered, egotistical and disrespectful. Children need love, affection, a sense of belonging and direction from adults within the family environment, not weakness, inconsistency and permissive parenting.

As Dr. Leonard Sax recommends: “Prioritize the family. The family meal at home is more important than piling on after-school extracurricular activities. Instead of boosting self-esteem, teach humility.” With this in mind, strategize to undermine selfishness; no one is the center of the universe except Our Lord Jesus Christ. Make sure that this is clear, above all through your actions.

 

4 – Beware of the “Parenting Trap” (this point is specifically for parents)

Our modern society emphasizes that being ”liked” is one of the ultimate goals in life. This undermines a fundamental aspect of parenting, as many parents today abandon their mission and their duties just so they can be liked by their children.

Parents are not called by God to be their child's friend.

So what are they called to do?

Parents are called by God to:

  • raise their children and place their children's feet on the path that leads to Heaven.
  • teach their children the True Faith and how to live a life of virtue.
  • educate, to form, to teach, to guide, to support, to love, to defend, to discipline, and to care for their children in all things.
  • accept a full-time responsibility that is rich with blessings and tempered by sorrows.


Parents are not called by God to be their child's buddy. Trying to become their child's buddy will undermine parents' respectability. Children need to be able to admire and respect their parents, not have them as buddies.

This does not mean that it is wrong for parents and children to be friends. In fact, it is a true blessing when parents and children form true friendships. It is wrong and harmful, however, for parents to sacrifice their mission as parents just so they can be liked by their children and be their children's friend.

 

The great challenge:

Isn’t it about time that we stop following the beat of the drum of a culture that teaches tolerance of all that is evil and disregard for all that is good? Isn’t it high time that you and I become true reflections of Our Lord Jesus Christ to those around us, especially the children in our lives? Why not set a higher standard than mediocrity and complacency? Let us honor and respect God above all things, let us make ourselves respectable and let us give and require respect so children will also learn how to respect God.

 


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 18, 2021

Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does no...

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May 18

 

Our Lord loves you
and loves you tenderly; and
if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love,
it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Eric IX of Sweden

The king’s zeal for the faith was far from pleasing to his...

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St. Eric IX of Sweden

Eric the Holy or Erik the Saint was acknowledged king in most provinces of Sweden in 1150, and his family line subsisted for a hundred years. He did much to establish Christianity in Upper Sweden and built or completed at Old Uppsala the first large church to be erected in the country. It is said that all the ancient laws and constitutions of the kingdom were, by his orders, collected into one volume, which came to be known as King Eric’s Law or The Code of Uppland.

The king soon had to take up arms against the heathen Finns. He vanquished them in battle, and at his desire, St. Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, who had accompanied him on the expedition, remained in Finland to evangelize the people.

The king’s zeal for the Catholic Faith was far from pleasing to his nobles, and we are told that they entered into a conspiracy against him with Magnus, the son of the king of Denmark. King Eric was hearing Mass on the day after the feast of the Ascension when news was brought that a Danish army, swollen with Swedish rebels, was marching against him and was close at hand. With unwavering calm he answered, “Let us at least finish the sacrifice; the rest of the feast I shall keep elsewhere”. After Mass was over, he recommended his soul to God, and marched forth in advance of his guards. The conspirators rushed upon him, beat him down from his horse, and beheaded him. His death occurred on May 18 in 1161.

The relics of St. Eric IX of Sweden are preserved in the Cathedral of Uppsala, and the saintly king's effigy appears on the coat of arms of the city of Stockholm.

Pope St. John I

The king had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna and thrown into...

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Pope St. John I

St. John I was a native of Siena in Tuscany and was one of the seven deacons of Rome when he was elected to the papacy at the death of Pope Hormisdas in the year 523.

At the time, Theodoric the Great ruled over the Ostrogoths in Italy and Justin I was the Byzantine Emperor of Constantinople. King Theodoric supported the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ.

Justin I, the first Catholic on the throne of Constantinople in fifty years, published a severe edict against the Arians, requiring them to return to orthodox Catholics the churches they had taken from them. The said edict caused a commotion among eastern Arians, and spurred Theodoric to threaten war.

Ultimately, he opted for a diplomatic solution and named Pope John, much against his wishes, to head a delegation of five bishops and four senators to Justin.

Pope John, refused to comply with Theodoric’s wishes to influence Justin to reverse his policies. The only thing he did obtain from Justin was for him to mitigate his treatment of Arians, thus avoiding reprisals against Catholics in Italy.

After the delegation returned, Theodoric, disappointed with the result of the mission, and growing daily more suspicious at reports of the friendly relations between the Pope and Justin I, had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna.

Pope John I died in prison a short time later as a result of ill treatment.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Cathe...

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The Rosary & True Beauty

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life.

Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty. So much so, that she was known to those in Rome where she made her home as “Catherine the Beautiful.” Sadly, Catherine’s beauty went only skin deep, and she led a very sinful life.

One afternoon, strolling the streets of Rome, Catherine heard the voice of St. Dominic. This was the early 13th century and it was not unusual to cross paths with this great man of God.

On this particular day, he was preaching on the devotion to the Mother of God and the importance of praying her most holy Rosary. Caught up in the moment, Catherine had her name inscribed in the book of the confraternity and began to recite the Rosary. Though praying the Rosary gave her a sense of calmness she had not known before, Catherine did not abandon her sinful ways.

One evening, a youth, apparently a nobleman, came to her house. Catherine invited the handsome young man to stay to dine with her. When they were at supper, she saw drops of blood falling from his hands while he was breaking a piece of bread. Moments later, she observed, much to her discomfort, that all the food he took was tinged with blood.

Gathering up some courage to appease her curiosity, she asked him what that blood meant. With a firm but gentle look in his eyes, the youth replied that a Christian should take no food that was not tinged with the blood of Jesus Christ and sweetly seasoned with the memory of His passion.

Amazed at this reply, Catherine asked him who he was. "Soon," he answered, "I will show you." The rest of their meal passed uneventfully, yet always the drops of red catching Catherine’s eye, causing her to wonder about this man she supped with.

After dinner, when they had withdrawn into another room, the appearance of the youth changed. To Catherine’s stunned gaze, he showed himself crowned with thorns, his flesh torn and bleeding.

With the same firm but gentle gaze he said to her: “Do you wish to know who I am? Do you not know me? I am your Redeemer. Catherine, when will you cease to offend me? See how much I have suffered for you. You have grieved me enough, change your life."

Catherine began to weep bitterly, and Jesus, encouraging her, said: "Now begin to love me as much as you have offended me; and know that you have received this grace from me, on account of the Rosary you have been accustomed to recite in honor of my mother." And then he disappeared.

Catherine went in the morning to make her confession to St. Dominic, whose preaching on the Rosary had brought so marvelous a grace into her life. Giving to the poor all she possessed, from that day forward Catherine led so holy and joyful a life that she attained to great perfection.

It could now be said of her among the inhabitants of Rome that Catherine was indeed beautiful, but her beauty was no longer skin deep; her loveliness radiated from the depths of her soul.

The Most Holy Virgin often appeared to her; and Jesus himself revealed to St. Dominic, that this penitent had become very dear to him.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty.

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