Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness…Jesus sent out the Twelve instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
The only way that secularists can prevail, in their twisted attempt to remove Christ from society, is if they succeed in shutting up and shunning down the Church. The fighting among Christians must come to an end. We must never forget that we are in a battle to win souls, not to lose them. If I attack my Christian brother because he attacks me, then I am no different than he. If I attack my Christian brother because he is different than me, then I am no better than he.
When we fight, we attack not the person but tackle the ideas.
When I see someone in pain, what do I do? How do I handle it? Do I walk away? Do I look at them square in the face and tell them what I think?
In these past few days I have been moving and sitting. I have spent hours moving my stuff. I have spent hours sitting in a chair. I have lifted boxes. I have lifted souls. I have talked to myself. I have talked to others. I have seen very few people. I have listened to and heard dozens of teens.
“Forgive me father for I have sinned. I argue with my mom and dad. I fight with them. I have shouted at them. I have been mean to my brothers and sisters.” I tell them, “I am so happy that you have been arguing with your mom and dad, and that you fight with your brothers and sisters.” At this point the child pays attention. I am sure that they think they misunderstood me, so I tell them again, “I am so glad that you argue with your parents and that you don’t get along with your siblings. Spend more time with your family.” Then I hear some nervous laughter.
The temptation that so many of our kids fall into today is known as escapism. We all know that they have an ability to escape from their responsibilities and chores. But what most of us do not realize is that they escape from their family! Kids look for ways to spend the least amount of time at home. And parents are all too accommodating to let that happen – that is, to allow their children to escape. And guess what? They are learning not from you but from others. And what they are learning is not good.
When children come into this world, they live with their family. They go home to their family. They don’t live with their friends. You can pick your friends but you cannot pick your family. How unfair! How unfair it is that you have to live with the people you don’t pick. So why does nature instill it? Because our family teaches us what we would never learn from our friends. Our parents told us what our friends would never say. Our parents do for us what our friends would never do. Our brothers and sisters could give a darn what we think of them, but they will tell us what they think of us. And we have to learn how to deal with it.
Recently, a friend of mine told me that he spent some time with his family during Thanksgiving. He told me, “Father, I am so proud of myself. I was patient, loving, kind and compassionate to my family that is so obnoxious, arrogant and annoying!”
Our families help us to be better men and women. They really do. Our siblings help us to be more patient, more giving and much more forgiving. How could I possibly learn that if I escape from this training at home, or spend all my time with people who just pretend to agree with me or do so out of fear that they will lose me as a friend!
Just recently a young man lost his life in a car accident. It was on the news that the young man was racing with one of his friends. Sometimes our friends can be our worst enemy but appear to be our best friends. Sometimes our family can appear to be our worst enemies but in reality are our best friends. Who else will grab me by the neck and tell me that I am crazy! Who else will look me in the eyes and tell me what no one else would have the guts to say. Is it not all a preparation for our entrance into society? My next door neighbor could very well be someone like my father or mother. My boss could very well be like my older brother or sister. My work partner could very well be like my twin! I will be prepared because my family helped me to get there.
It might very well be true that the teenagers that don’t like to stay home are the same ones that don’t like to go to Church. It wouldn’t surprise me. The connection is very clear. God is our Father. Mary is our Mother. The Saints are our brothers and sisters. Like any family, living under the Lord’s roof may create some drama, but it will always be a safe haven (heaven). Gathering together for supper may make for some very interesting topics of conversation. It may very well be what I need to hear. We should all be there!