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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Parents)

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Catholic Life Section:

Parents / Parenting

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Parents / Parenting



Parents / Parenting 

Note: The reader is reminded that discipline of children should obviously be done within reason. One should not abuse children.

"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD, your God, has commanded you, that you may have a long life and prosperity in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you." (Deut. 5:16)

"With your whole heart honor your father; your mother's birthpangs forget not. Remember, of these parents you were born; what can you give them for all they gave you?" (Sirach 7:27-28)

"Children, obey your parents (in the Lord), for this is right." (Eph. 6:1)

"But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Reject them." (2 Tm. 3:1-5)

"It is true that the hope of a better future is founded on a good, obedient youth." (St. John Vianney)

"Form the soul of the son aright, and all the rest will be added afterward." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"As regards the offspring it is provided that they should be begotten lovingly and educated religiously" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Let parents, then, recognize the inestimable importance a truly Christian family has for the life and progress of God's own people." (Second Vatican Council)

"If you wish to have pious, good children, you must first of yourself be God-fearing and lead good lives. As the tree, so will the fruit be." (St. John Vianney)

"[T]he boy's father having neglected the soul of his little son, fostered no little sinner for the flames of hell." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Parents, as we have said, should be watchful so that certain immoral fashions and attitudes do not violate the integrity of the home, especially through misuse of the mass media" (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"...parents should know how to say 'no' to their children and, at the same time, they should know how to cultivate a taste in their children for what is beautiful, noble and true." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"It is not enough to be good, tender, generous; one must also be wise and strong. The indulgent weakness of parents blinds them, to the detriment of their children." (Pope Pius XII)

"Perfect married life means the complete dedication of the parents for the benefit of their children." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 1136 Parents have the most grave obligation and the primary right to do all in their power to ensure their children's physical, social, cultural, moral and religious upbringing." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"What can be greater than to direct the souls and form the characters of children? Indeed I consider him greater than any painter or sculptors, who knows how to fashion the souls of the young." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"That which regards nature should be nourished and fostered in children, but that which pertains to the lack of reason in them should not be fostered, but corrected" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Children have not been given to parents as a present, which they may dispose of as they please, but as a trust, for which, if lost through their negligence, they must render an account to God." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Can. 1366 Parents, or those who take the place of parents, who hand over their children to be baptized or educated in a non-Catholic religion are to be punished with a censure or other just penalty." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Those who speak only gentle words to their children show only little love. On the other hand, those who correct their children strictly are hurting them today but doing them good for the future" (St. Clement of Alexandria)

"Can. 774 §2 Parents above others are obliged to form their children by word and example in faith and in the practice of Christian life; godparents and those who take the place of parents are bound by an equal obligation." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"If you do not bring up your children well, what do you do? It is the only thing you have to do; it is this that God requires of you, for this that he established Christian marriage; and it is on this that you will be judged." (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

"Can. 1113 Parents are bound by the most grave obligation to take care as far as they are able for the education of children, both religious and moral, as well as physical and civil, and of providing them with [proper] temporal goods." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Parents, as individuals or in associations, have the right and duty to promote the good of their children and demand from the authorities laws that prevent and eliminate the exploitation of the sensitivity of children and adolescents." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"If I were to give advice, I would say to parents that they ought to be very careful whom they allow to mix with their children when young; for much mischief thence ensues, and our natural inclinations are unto evil rather than unto good." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"If in fact parents do not give adequate formation in chastity, they are failing in their precise duty. Likewise, they would also be guilty were they to tolerate immoral or inadequate formation being given to their children outside the home." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"Strengthen and rekindle the faith of Christian parents and teach them that if it is their duty to defend their children from death at the risk of their own bodies, they must remember that the souls of these little ones are still more precious." (Gueranger)

"Parents should avoid adopting the widespread mentality whereby girls are given every recommendation regarding virtue and the value of virginity, while the same is not required for boys, as if everything were licit for them." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs." (Second Vatican Council)

"[F]athers may be benefited by the virtue of their children, and mothers also, when they have brought them up well. But what if she be herself addicted to wickedness and vice? Will she then be benefited by the bringing up of children? Is it not probable that she will bring them up to be like herself?" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"An undisciplined or spoilt child is inclined toward a certain immaturity and moral weakness in future years because chastity is difficult to maintain if a person develops selfish or disordered habits and cannot behave with proper concern and respect for others." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"[T]o our parents, of all our neighbors, we are under the greatest obligation. Hence, immediately after the [commandments] directing us to God, a place is given to the precept directing us to our parents, who are the particular principle of our being, just as God is the universal principle" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But Christian parents must also understand that they are destined not only to propagate and preserve the human race on earth, indeed not only to educate any kind of worshippers of the true God, but children who are to become members of the Church of Christ, to raise up fellow-citizens of the Saints, and members of God's household, that the worshippers of God and Our Savior may daily increase." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"In raising children Christian parents must be concerned about their children's faith and help them to fulfil the vocation God has given them. The parents' mission as educators also includes teaching and giving their children an example of the true meaning of suffering and death. They will be able to do this if they are sensitive to all kinds of suffering around them and, even more, if they succeed in fostering attitudes of closeness, assistance and sharing towards sick or elderly members of the family." (Pope John Paul II)

"Furthermore, because the means of social communication, like the school and the environment, often have a notable influence on the formation of children, parents as recipients must actively ensure the moderate, critical, watchful and prudent use of the media by discovering what effect they have on their children and by controlling the use of media in such a way as to 'train the conscience of their children to express calm and objective judgements, which will then guide them in the choice or rejection of programs available'." (Pope John Paul II)

"The good example and leadership of parents is essential in strengthening the formation of young people in chastity. A mother who values her maternal vocation and her place in the home greatly helps develop the qualities of femininity and motherhood in her daughters, and sets a clear, strong and noble example of womanhood for her sons. A father, whose behavior is inspired by masculine dignity without 'machismo', will be an attractive model for his sons, and inspire respect, admiration and security in his daughters." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"'Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of correction shall drive it away.' Disorderly inclinations then must be corrected, good tendencies encouraged and regulated from tender childhood, and above all the mind must be enlightened and the will strengthened by supernatural truth and by the means of grace, without which it is impossible to control evil impulses, impossible to attain to the full and complete perfection of education intended by the Church, which Christ has endowed so richly with divine doctrine and with the Sacraments, the efficacious means of grace." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929)

"Through loving and patient advice, parents will help young people to avoid an excessive closing in on themselves. When necessary, they will also teach them to go against social trends that tend to stifle true love and an appreciation for spiritual realities: 'Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you.' (1 Peter 5: 8-10)." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"For although Christian spouses even if sanctified themselves cannot transmit sanctification to their progeny, nay, although the very natural process of generating life has become the way of death by which original sin is passed on to posterity, nevertheless, they share to some extent in the blessings of that primeval marriage of Paradise, since it is theirs to offer their offspring to the Church in order that by this most fruitful Mother of the children of God they may be regenerated through the laver of Baptism unto supernatural justice and finally be made living members of Christ, partakers of immortal life, and heirs of that eternal glory to which we all aspire from our inmost heart." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"The blessing of offspring, however, is not completed by the mere begetting of them, but something else must be added, namely the proper education of the offspring. For the most wise God would have failed to make sufficient provision for children that had been born, and so for the whole human race, if He had not given to those to whom He had entrusted the power and right to beget them, the power also and the right to educate them. For no one can fail to see that children are incapable of providing wholly for themselves, even in matters pertaining to their natural life, and much less in those pertaining to the supernatural, but require for many years to be helped, instructed, and educated by others. Now it is certain that both by the law of nature and of God this right and duty of educating their offspring belongs in the first place to those who began the work of nature by giving them birth, and they are indeed forbidden to leave unfinished this work and so expose it to certain ruin." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

Also See: Children / Youth | An Ideal Home | Fostering Vocations / Vocations in the Family | Parental Responsibility for Catholic Education | Parents' Right to Educate Their Children | Education [Pg.] | Parental Discipline | Family / Families | Idleness & Young People | Marriage | Fathers / Fatherhood | Mothers / Motherhood | Femininity & The Virgin Mary | Women's Work in the Home

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