Category Archives: Parenthood

“I am not the Messiah”

Many of us pick up the Little Blue Book for Advent, and of course the Little Black Book for the Lenten season. These pocket-sized books of reflection are invaluable in their simplicity and wisdom.

For January 2 2015, the entry is this:

And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Messiah.” (Jn 1:19-28)

We have here the very first words spoken by John the Baptist in this Gospel. And what were those first words? “I am not the Messiah.”

Want to experience a great weight lifted off your shoulders? Say those same words right now. “I am not the Messiah.” Say it out loud. Hear yourself say it.

Now, you already knew that. But there’s something about saying it. Then add: “World, I have good news for you. Although I am not the Messiah, the good news is that there is a Messiah, and I’d be glad to point him out to you.” (That’s in effect what John said a few verses later.)

I know I’m not the Messiah, but I can unwittingly try to be one. We all do it, usually with the best motives. Parents try to solve all their children’s problems…

Indeed, I do have a part to play in God’s plan. But it’s just that – a part to play. I am not the Messiah. Jesus is. He’s got the whole world in his hands.

Sometimes prayer is just meant to remind me that the Messiah is Jesus. Not me.

What relief!

That says it quite eloquently, but I am tempted to elaborate. I will just say that there is a tendency, especially on the part of men, to fix things. And so for parents, and especially fathers, their need to fix their children’s situations, whatever they may be, can feel irresistible and overwhelming. But, since “I am not the Messiah,” perhaps I can surrender my children, and all their situations, to Him Who Is. Feel the relief.

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Family Sanctuary Interview

I was interviewed by psychologist and radio personality Mary Ann Jepsen for her radio program Family Sanctuary, shortly after the Courage Conference this summer. The program aired on October 13, and is now available online, here. I hope you have a chance to listen. We talk about the film Desire of the Everlasting Hills, and other life issues (well, my life, that is…)

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Dear Mom, don’t call me, I’ll call you

You may have gotten the call, or the note, or the email. It’s a sad, gut-wrenching day. Your own child doesn’t want to speak to you. You mourn, you grieve. if you give in to your least-best self, you sink into despair.

But, consider this. It is important to acknowledge your child’s autonomy, that is, their separateness from you, and their right to make their own decisions. (The decision part applies to adult children, of course.) But so often, those decisions feel more of a lashing-out than a considered, well-thought-out, rational path. And there is a tendency to think your child is lost to you. But please, don’t despair. God is working on your child, shepherding him, protecting him, and letting him make his own choices, use his own free will. That most precious gift from God that allows us to reject Him. But God loves him even more than you do, and knows him even better, and your job is to pray, and to surrender your precious child to the care of Jesus, and his heavenly mother!

Please read this lovely post by our friend Dan, at his blog, Letters to Christopher. Hey, Parents, Don’t Despair.

 

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Feast Day of St. Monica

Today, August 27, is the feast day of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, and the patron saint of mothers, married women, alcoholics and this website!

St. Monica prayed for Augustine’s conversion for his whole adult life, and died shortly after his baptism in 387 A.D.

This gives me another opportunity to recommend this very helpful book, St. Monica and the Power of Persistent Prayer, by Mike Aquilina and Mark W. Sullivan. I recommend this book to all parents who have kids. Period. It doesn’t matter if they experience same-sex attraction. It is full of wisdom, meditations, prayer and resolutions, in a particularly readable format.

Here is a resolution from the book that you may find particularly helpful:

Resolution

I will provide my child with one of the finest things in life: A truly Christian parent. For the sake of my child’s conversion, I will seek my own conversion, without delay.

You can find more information on St. Monica at the site American Catholic, and at New Advent, in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

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The Courage of the Principled Parent

I have just started the book Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything, by Robert Reilly. I’m only in Chapter 1, The Culture War, so it’s too early in the book to do a full “review” of it. But there are a couple of sentences that remind me how courageous you EnCourage parents are. Reilly is speaking here about the trend to define homosexuality in terms of rights.

Former vice president Dick Cheney’s public endorsement of same-sex “marriage” on behalf of his lesbian daughter is typical. He said: “I think that freedom means freedom for everyone….I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish…”

Those of us who know that homosexual “marriage” can’t by its very nature exist, and therefore ought not be codified into law, are often called haters and bigots. A label which is unfair, I always thought. But when I reflect on the turnaround that Dick Cheney, along with a Continue reading

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