A few years ago, while attending Sunday Mass we were asked to have our children involved in "Children's Liturgy". This so-called Liturgy involved the children exiting the church to be "taught" the readings of the day by lay catechists. They would receive a "sermon" by a lay person and then discuss the readings. We had gently refused to participate on the grounds that we would rather have the children with us. Unfortunately, after a while, and the kids incessant questioning, we allowed them to depart.
Then came the our oldest son's First Holy Communion. Now we felt we could have the right to keep him with us in the pew. Again, the catechists and the pastor persisted and we foolishly allowed him to leave our side. This time with a most terrible lesson. During the "Children's Liturgy of the Word" they were taught a very uncatholic teaching on the Eucharist...more Lutheran than Catholic, and then the catechists proceeded to hand out bread and grape juice! Our son, somewhat confused by this, went along for the ride and then returned to our pew. He whispered to me, "Dad, they made us eat bread and grape juice, is that ok?" Considering he was minutes from receiving our Lord in Holy Communion, I was rather shocked and told him, "No!"
I had to then quickly explain to him about the Eucharistic Fast, which he already knew, and let him know he would be unable to receive our Lord that day. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he asked, "why did they do that?' "I don't know son, I don't know."
While we considered the DRE of the parish, one of our friends, we had to confront this situation. In the end, she apologized for the acts of the un-catechised lay catechist (who also happened to be a immodestly dressed teenager) and stated it would not happen again. We replied, "You're darn tooten, it ain't, cuz our kids are never going to participate again!
This of course set us against the pastor and those in leadership. We soon became known as a little radical. But this situation should highlight how easy it is to hand over the catechizing or our children to strangers, how much it is encouraged in the modern parish, and how destructive it can be. Imagine if my son would have not said anything....he may have lost the faith in the Real Presence!
Unfortunately, our modern parishes have adopted the age-segregation model of faith formation and education. We have Children's Liturgy and Youth Groups, Mother's and Men's groups, the Golden Hills, and the Toddler's group. This segregation is so detrimental to the faith, which is one of those things best learned through example and modeling, rather than workbook pages and paraliturgies.
How is a child going to learn how to sit, stand, kneel properly at holy Mass if not modeled by his father and mother, sisters and brothers, grandmother and grandfather? How will the child think of the faith if it is always "dumbed down" for his age group? We are now suffering the consequences of the protestant model of youth ministry that has infiltrated the church - teens will talk of the faith with their peer group, but will not do so with their fathers! Is their peer-group really the people you want your formative years son's discussing such eternal issues with? A son's father should be the first and last catechist, the one who has the most influence over his faith, rather than the least.
This segregation is the same model employed by the state in its coercive model of education. If you can separate the family, you can conquer. If you can divide the house, the home can be plundered. As a homeschooling family, we have embraced a model that breaks down these false walls of segregation, teaching children from toddlers up to teens all under the same roof. This unity is the most profound aspect of a traditional, patriarchical home, and the most attacked.
This is the patriarchical call, to be priest, prophet, and king in your home. At times this means waging a little warfare, be it defensive. We must stand guard, know what our children are learning, even at the parish level, and stand in the gap when necessary. We must do this day and night, and never allow ourselves to be persuaded to lesson the ideal of holiness in our families,
This is a great video to share with your spouse or the women in your life.
Well, I have been pondering the issue of the so-called "Theology of the Body" for some time. I have listened to talks on tape, read books, read articles, watched online videos, read discussions involving different "teachers", and listened to numerous Catholics speak of their introduction and induction into this train of thought. As a fellow Catholic, a man, a father of children, and a amateur theologian, I have seen myself both for and against this body of teaching.
Of course, one can read the primary source, that is Pope John Paul II's writings from before he was elected pontiff. While some might argue the theological nuances of the Pope's actual thought, I will leave that for those with more intelligence and training. I am more concerned with the current "presenters" and so-called
Again, I won't argue the technical details. But I will argue the merit of this new Sex Ed class that is infiltrating every area of the Church. It seems that those frustrated with an inability to get kids into sex ed in grade school moved their energy to adults. Now it seems that they are moving back to kids again, with TOB for teens...and rumors of TOB for grade school kids.
I can still remember sitting in a special classroom with the other 25 kids in my sixth grade class. We sat there wide-eyed while the good Sister displayed graphic pictures of genitalia on a ten foot screen via overhead projector. While this was not my first introduction to sexuality as a child, it reinforced that this was something to gawk and giggle at.
Now we have different speakers running the circuit that prefer "shock therapy" for modern Catholics. What is the effect of all of this? Can Mr. West, Fr. Loya, and others generally attribute their work to an increase in the holiness of the masses they present to? Can anyone honestly say that they have grown in sanctity due to this "shock therapy? Our Lord gave us the ultimate way to judge some teaching...by the fruit we shall know them!
As someone who has struggled with shedding different sinful habits, I can say that my introduction to TOB has been more damaging than fruitful. Just as my Sex Ed class in grade school twisted my notions of purity and sexuality, the body of teaching typically known as "Theology of the Body" has simply reinforced an impure, improper way to look at sexuality and the opposite sex. It would seem to me that this "Theological Time Bomb" as some call it, will be to the detriment of many. Any marriage that is based on what happens in the bed, is bound to fail. Pleasure is not an end as some purport, rather it is unity and procreation. To see this unity as only sexual is a grand disservice to this sacrament.
TOB, just like other faddish movements is hopefully progressing to a more traditional, orthodox position. The only way that this movement can become authentically united to the body of Church teaching is to have its presenters steep themselves in the vast body of teaching from all 2000+ years of Catholicism. From the saints and scholars, popes and prophets, TOB can then dissappear into the corpus of Catholic doctrine and judge itself against defined Magisterial teaching. At that point, we will no longer have to put up with the New Sex Ed classes, but will be inspired by saints that live out the Faith of our Fathers.
This video is a little longer, but I have tried to challenge other men...even myself to carry our cross that has been laid upon our shoulders by Christ Himself.
While I would not typically include an article by someone so morally off-base, old Ben Franklin sure had a great repertoire of witty and thought-provoking quotations, as well as this little article on the art of chess. I think this article has some good food for thought - what do you think?
"Even when a husband's command or decision is less than optimal, though not immoral, it should be followed, at least until there is an appropriate time to consult with him. That appropriate time is hardly ever in front of the children." Dilsaver, TMM
Just consider the bishop or priest that openly disagrees with the Holy Father or even worse, the true Magisterial teaching of the Church. This open "rebellion" or dissension has done numerous harms to the Body of Christ, especially over the past 60 years and it is no different in the family structure. When the father is either constantly thwarted or disagreed with in front of the children, the children learn that he is not to be obeyed or followed. While many Christian spouses would be hesitant to admit that this happens in their homes, one only has to think about the actions of the children. If the child wants a sweet or to do something out of the ordinary, does the child go ask the father or mother first? Or does the child ask both parents in hopes that one will answer differently than the other and in turn pit them against each other.
It should be the habit of the home to always seek the direction of the father. Why? Put simply, it is the design of God. God has given the cross of responsibility to the father. This also means that by obeying his authority, even when one might disagree with it, graces will flow. Christ was obedient unto death. The Blessed Mother and the Christ Child were both obedient to St. Joseph, the lower man in the sphere of spiritual gifts, but higher in God-given authority. This is obviously a challenging word in this modern age of equality at all costs. But we have to ask ourselves, what graces are we thwarting by not following the familial structure designed by God?
While not coming from a Catholic perspective, some things "manly" are just simply good. Click on the link above.