O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Go Get the Door, It's God

I was going to post this yesterday for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Cathedral, but I ended up with too much to talk about. Yesterday's Gospel was that of Zacheus. In the same way that Our Blessed Lord wanted to stay with Zacheus to sanctify him, his family, and his home, so too the same He wants to stay with us to sanctify us, our families, and our homes. Like Zacheus, our homes become filled with sin and worldly pursuits and Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church, wishes to enter to mold our families into the image of His love. The home is a reflection in miniature of the Church, just as the Sacrament of Matrimony is a a reflection in miniature of the union between Christ and the Church.

Husband and wife sacrifice themselves completely for the sake of each other. They give everything they have and everything they are, even their very bodies, to take care of each other and get each other to the dignity for which they were created by God. God uses this self-giving love as the environment to create new life. However, that is not the end of it. This new life needs to be nurtured and raised. The children remain the responsibility of the parents until such time that God calls the children to go do something else. At that time, they stop being the parents' responsibility and pass to whomever they pass. If He calls the children to be married, they become the responsibility of their spouses instead of their parents ("For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh."-Mt 19:5). If God calls them to enter a monastery, they become the responsibility of the superior. A man called to be a priest becomes the responsibility of his bishop. The child might grow up and remain a single layman who is simply his own responsibility instead of the responsibility of his parents. EDIT: I should mention that Divine love desires that the children grow up, go away to whatever place God calls them, and attain the dignity for which God created them. Human emotion contradicts love by desiring that the children never grow up, never attain anyone's dignity, never make any progress in any direction, and just remain frozen in time. He who operates on human emotion only cares about how he feels and his own happiness. He who operates on love cares only about the dignity and well-being of the other regardless of cost to self. 

However, while they are growing up, the children are always the responsibility of the parents. The parental vocation is quite simple: take these children that God produced for you from you mutual self-offering and turn them into saints; teach them how to lead holy, God-fearing lives. Any parent who reads that sentence will simply laugh. The problem is, if you want to turn anyone into a saint, you need the patience of a saint yourself. I hear the laughter getting louder. All this is just a reflection in miniature of what Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ, does with Her children. All the children that the Good Lord gives Her, She raises to become saints...or tries to anyway. That's Her vocation. So likewise, the same way that the Church building is designed to accomplish that end by having everything in it point towards God and away from the world, the family home is to be designed in such a way that it is filled with "holy reminders" of the faith, pointing those who dwell therein towards God and away from the world. Any home, if it wishes to be good, will let Christ rule over it, to polish it and mold it into the image of the loving union of He and His Bride and the children of Holy Mother Church.