Sunday, January 25, 2015

GIVING REAL LOVE TO YOUR CHILD

An outline on how parents can educate their children in human sexuality
To protect your family, as Pope Francis urged, parents have to teach that sex is for total self-giving love

Download the free one-page leaflet here.



REASON: Why do I have to teach this?

1) Your child’s happiness depends on it. If training a child to read and write prepares for a good life, how much more training to love in a family! The great five-word conclusion of Harvard’s longest study of human beings is: Happiness is love. Full-stop.               
2) Your child is threatened by diabolical falsehoods.  Easy porn access and a sex-crazed media promote seeing people’s bodies as mere things and objects to be used for selfish pleasures.             
3) Porn is as addicting as heroin. Its use lowers academic performance.     
4) Eternal life is at stake.  Our Lady of Fatima warned: More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other sin

5) It’s your grave duty.  No one else but you are ultimately accountable for your child’s moral education.  So overcome your discomfort for the sake of your child: Only truth sets free!  


CONTENT: What do I have to teach?

Truth 1. Sex is a sacred gift that enables us to make a gift of ourselves.  God is self-giving love. With infinite love, he made us in his image. And so we are called to love.  The purpose of our life is to love God in return with all our heart and to love others for him. The greatest commandments are the secret of the greatest happiness.  Our model of love is Jesus who died for us and was glorified. True love means (1) willing the good of the other.  Not fleeting feelings. Not doing evil, (2) self-giving, a free choice to sacrifice for another.  Not infantile selfishness. Not animal instincts.  Humans are incarnate spirits. So we express love not just through our souls, but also through our bodies, and sexuality.

Truth 2: Chastity is joyful self-mastery that frees us for self-giving love, for we cannot give what we do not have.  Chastity is emotional intelligence. Our sexual urges have to be channeled intelligently for real love, in the same way as we discipline our appetite intelligently for health and protection from illness.
Important to teach: It is foolish to look at human bodies with lust. Instead recognize the truth: human bodies are persons (images, children and temples of God) to be reverenced, served and saved. Not objects to be used for selfish ends. “He who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Jesus). As an intelligent joyful discipline, chastity demands good habits, striving to put our heart in God, asking for help in prayer and sacraments, fleeing to Mary when tempted.

Truth 3: God calls us to be holy: to make a total gift of ourselves in marriage or in apostolic celibacy.  God meant sex to express total self-giving within marriage, in two inseparable meanings. (1) Giving one’s bodily fertility to cooperate with God in generating a child: A new immortal spirit is an inestimable gift to the spouse (baby-making or procreative meaning of sex),
(2) Giving one’s whole life until death (bonding or unitive meaning). Only the sacred covenant of the sacrament of  marriage provides for the good of children (growth and education in a stable family), and the good of the spouses (total committed love). 

Thus, these are sins against God and self-destructive evils:        
1) masturbation  – selfish self-seeking, not self-giving,            
2) fornication  – no total, committed, life-long self-giving union,
3) contraception  – a lie in the sexual language of total self-giving (willfully withholds fertility); anti-procreative (= anti-good) while natural family planning  is non-procreative and moral.   

Since sex means self-giving love, the greater vocation is celibacy. It gives up the great good of marriage for total self-giving union with God, Love Himself. Like Mary, it gives birth to a multitude of spiritual children.  Parents are to support this calling with joy. 


PEDAGOGY: How and when do I teach?

(1) Teach gradually and repeatedly. Use moments like pregnancy and birth. (2) Have one-on-one friendly chats: dad with son, mom with daughter.  (3) Be ahead of the need and the bad influence of peers. (4) Emphasize moral aspect. Build a home environment of love and reason. (5) Train in the critical use of media. Protect from wrong ideas. Use computer filters (K9 is free).

Innocence (5 years old to age of puberty): Your child is at ease with the body, not interested in sex. (1) Protect their innocence. Give indirect formation on chastity, unless needed. Correct wrong information and bad habits. Teach modesty. (2) Develop character strengths: teamwork, obedience, generosity, self-denial. Teach the moral law; (3) For girls: Show Mary as model of motherhood (4) For boys: Develop friendship with dad. Teach that masculinity means service and responsibility. Train in self-control over aggressiveness. No to machismo.

Puberty: Your child discovers his inner world (deep questions, feelings of love, intense joys) and experiences sexual changes. More vulnerable to emotional influences. (1) Be more attentive. (2) Give more detailed information about sexual changes and the characteristics of both sexes. [Free flyer: A Boy’s Guidebook. A Girls’ Guidebook.] (3) Teach the value and the great joy of chastity and the greatness of marriage and virginity. (4) For girls: Teach the meaning of cycles of fertility. (5) For boys: Important to help them avoid erotic fantasies by teaching the sublime dignity of women and motherhood.

Adolescence:  thinking of personal calling and the future; more sexual problems emerge. (1) Teach that they should, above all, follow Christ in holiness. (2) Form them in the beauty of chastity. Help them to seek help. (3) Give a clear explanation of morality.

READINGS:  Know more to teach better.



Download the free one-page leaflet hereHelp protect families by helping as many parents as possible educate their children on true love and the meaning of sexuality. Send copies to parishes, schools, communities, offices, and make them distribute copies to parents.

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Please check out the other free leaflets in this blog. Please distribute them widely.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

STRATEGIES FOR A GREAT FAMILY



Discover the wisdom-filled principles revealed by Jesus through his Church’s Catechism and his Vicars, the Popes



BEAUTY OF MATRIMONY

Marriage and its mission. God who is love and who created man and woman for love has called them to love. By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mt 19:6). God said to them in blessing “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28).

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church [with self-sacrifice]. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Entrust self to Jesus. “To spouses, God the Father gives his Son Jesus, not to condemn them, but to save them: if they entrust themselves to him, he will bring them healing by the merciful love which pours forth from the Cross, with the strength of his grace that renews and sets married couples and families once again on the right path. The love of Christ can restore the joy of journeying together.” (Pope Francis)  

True love, not feelings. “You can’t base a marriage on feelings that come and go. But rather on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God. When we pray ‘Give us this day our daily Bread’, when it comes to marriage, we can say: Give us this day our daily love. Being in love means saying three phrases more often than not: May I?  Thank you and I’m sorry. It’s important to acknowledge that your spouse is a gift from God. When you receive a gift from God, you say Thank You. There is no such thing as a perfect husband or wife. It’s us who do exist, sinners. Jesus tells us a secret: Never let the day end, without apologizing…A small gesture is enough.” (Pope Francis)  Love means “willing the good of the other” (Aristotle and St. Thomas) and “self-giving” (John Paul II).


PARENTS:  PRINCIPAL EDUCATORS

Your children are God’s. Parents must regard their children as children of God.  Every spiritual soul is created immediately by God. It is not “produced” by the parents. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God’s law.

Teach Jesus’ greatest commandments. God has loved us first. The ten commandments then make explicit the response of love that man is called to give to his God. Jesus said: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  (Mt 22: 36-39)  

First school of Christian life and human enrichment. All members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way by the reception of the sacraments [frequent confession and Sunday Eucharist] , prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity. “The breakdown in the way Catholics pass down the Christian faith is caused by a lack of opportunity for dialogue in families.” (Francis)

Educate in right use of reason. Parents’ respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.

Spiritual over material. Interiority over instincts. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones. The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and social responsibilities.  Large families [are] a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.

Give good example and discipline. Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them.  

Live in the truth. Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another. “Parents must actively ensure the moderate, critical, watchful and prudent use of the media [and] train the conscience of their children.” (JP II)

Family catechesis and choice of school. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators.

Virtues and chastity. Education in virtues requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery – the preconditions of all true freedom. It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people about the dignity of married love [and]  the value of chastity.

First vocation: follow Jesus. Family ties are important but not absolute:  “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37). Parents must support with joy their children’s choice to follow Jesus in whatever state of life. [“Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Gen 22:12).]

Domestic church and family prayer. The family is the “domestic church” where God’s children learn to pray “as the Church” and to persevere in prayer. “How much peace would flow into family relationships if the family would begin again to pray the Rosary” (JPII). “Read the Bible often, especially on Sundays, husband and wife, parents and children” (Pope Francis).


This one-page leaflet can be downloaded here