From How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland
Struggling with behavior problems is like darning socks — or rather, the way darning socks used to be. You’d work and work at it until the holes were finally closed, and then one wearing — and, more holes!
That kept up until finally the sock was more darn than sock and you’d whine a little to yourself, wondering who appreciated it anyway. If only they’d stay darned! But they never did, and you were forever starting all over again.
But because God uses the most trivial things to point out the way to perfection, once in a while in the middle of a whine you’d understand that even if no one else saw how much work you put into it, God did.
And every snip and stitch was holy in His sight, because you were working away at the vocation that, for you, was the way to Heaven.
This could be called “detachment in darning”: to darn socks for the love of God.
We have to develop this same kind of detachment if we are to lead our children to detachment in their behavior. They will learn it and apply it with ease to all the beauty and order and blessedness of nature, but it’s infinitely more difficult, and painfully slow, learning to apply it to themselves.
It means learning the same lessons over and over again.
Modern mothers have been relying on psychology books to interpret child behavior for so long now that if all the psychology books were burned to a crisp, few mothers could relax with the conviction that God’s love, the maternal instinct, and divine grace could take their place.
I’m not minimizing the work of child psychologists. They’ve taught us many new insights into the needs and behavior of our children. But God can teach us even more, because children’s willfulness, their disobedience, and their tantrums speak just as eloquently for their own search for God and perfection as our sins do for ours.
What we all — little or big — want is God; if we do not realize it, however, we choose many ignoble things in His place. And if we want to teach children to be good with a goodness that’s lasting, we must teach them to be good for the love of God.
“The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.”
― St. Francis de Sales
A Parenting sermon for you today….
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Advent is such a special season! And this year, you can make it more meaningful than you ever have!
This Advent journal is for busy moms who need a little help making this season special within the home. It will help you stay on track and be consistent with the customs you have decided to incorporate within your four walls.
I have broken it down into bite-sized tidbits that, when laid out for you, will be easy to accomplish. As you check each item off you will get a sense of fulfillment knowing you are getting done what is truly important in this expectant season! The other things will get done….but first things first!
At midnight, on Christmas Eve, when Baby Jesus arrives, you and your family will look back upon your Advent and sigh with satisfaction, knowing you truly have celebrated with the Church, that you have put your best foot forward in making this a spiritual, enchanting, holy time for all!
The first few pages of this book will have a run-down of the special Advent customs and activities that will be on your checklist each day. They are simple, they are doable.
I hope this Advent is more special than ever as we walk hand-in-hand making the Liturgy come alive in our homes!
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