Family memories focused in truth
Mid-summer offers an opportune time to reacquaint with our families – for updates, to discuss problems and beliefs outside the stresses of the school year and holiday seasons. In my own experience, it’s during this slower-paced time that our most important decisions and difficulties can be resolved. It’s an idyllic time to re-focus on God and His will – in leisure, nature, prayer, Adoration, unhurried contemplation. The splendor and symphony of nature woo us toward Him.
Many of today’s politically correct “norms” aren’t normal at all, but departures from established truth and proven fact. Our kids – from pre-school through grad school – are barraged with “instruction” which flies in the face of Church tradition, historical and scientific wisdom. Recent events have shown that even in certain Catholic schools, the I’m-okay-you’re-okay, situation-ethics approach is favored over objective truth. Regardless of where kids are educated and what tuition costs, it’s still our job as parents and grandparents to clarify truth. This is Christ’s aim for all mankind — … “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2: 4). Summer is a good time to take stock of it all. What do they see as their purpose, what are their perceptions and stresses, and how does it all fit with ultimate Truth? Same goes for what’s happening in our own lives.
Watching the evening news, we see broadcasters doing interviews with random folks asking them if they know the historical reason for Independence Day, who the first American president was, or to identify key current events. Dumbstruck, they dither and laugh at their own cluelessness, spouting arrogant and ridiculous responses. “What are they being taught in the schools?” we ask.
Goodies like this.
Traditional religious and historical teachings are for throw-backs, trend-tolerance is real compassion and being “nice,” and keeping one’s opinions quiet on morality is the rule. They toss in a dose of contempt for authority, for the value of earnings and private property, and lessons of antiquity. Can’t we all just get along? Few kids take an interest in real research, reading or rigor anymore, not to mention awareness of God. But such are the things of true standout, now and later.
Mediocrity of thought – from educational manipulating – has become pervasive and dulled kids’ virtues of fortitude, prudence and temperance … to name a few. Then there’s justice, except not in the classical sense – today everyone wins equally, no one’s accountable for poor preparation, bad intention or infraction, and nobody has more ability or God-given talent than anyone else. Of course, kids — and for that matter, adults — find out fast in the cold real world, it ain’t necessarily so.
The most valuable family memories we can create are those rooted in Truth now, to help them cope later when we’re not around to provide, counsel, or give example. They’re my most cherished memories from my parents’ legacy – on the primacy of God, importance of work and sacrifice, honor of family, clergy and authority, evaluating choices, maintaining integrity, discerning when to fight or walk away, and keeping our eye on The Prize. They are comforting memories with eternal corollary.
CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK is Legatus magazine’s Managing Editor.