Jesus Christ loves us enough to tell us the truth about ourselves. Those who use other people instead of seeking their authentic good rarely tell them hard truths. It’s too risky; pointing out their failings may result in offense and rejection – like parents who are afraid to discipline their child. But love will take the risk, because love always goes after what is best for the beloved. A true friend will tell you when you’re wrong, so that you can straighten out. Christ is a true friend. […] Often the Church and its ministers insist on the hard truths (no contraception, no divorce, no in vitro fertilization, no cloning; the necessity of weekly Mass, confession, self-control, daily prayer…). Often we complain, whine, or even rebel. But if Christ loved Peter enough to admonish him so clearly, how can the Church do anything less?
~~”God’s Wild Idea (Mt 16:21-28),”Fr. John Bartunek, The Better Part. Catholic Spiritual Direction
It is very, very difficult to discipline your child. It is even more difficult when you feel you do not have the “right” to do so.
- How can I tell my child not to smoke when I do?
- How can I tell my kid not to ditch school when I did?
- How can I tell my daughter to wait until she’s married, when I didn’t?
- How can I tell my son not to smoke out when I did?
- How can I tell my kids that they have to go to Mass, when I hated going? Or Hate going?
There are oh so many more of these. So many more reasons why we can’t or feel we don’t have the “right,” the “face,” to admonish our kids.
How can we tell them to not make the same mistakes we made? It is simply because we did make those mistakes that we can say what some of the possible outcomes may be! We do not want our children to make the same mistakes we made. And as hard as we try, it almost seems like that is exactly where they are headed! God’s sense of humor? I like to believe so.
I know it is especially difficult for me to say anything to my eldest. Many times it is precisely because of the fear(?) that she can see right through me and see that I don’t have the “authority” to say anything because I did it too. Well, I have learned through the years, especially as of late, that I Love her WAY TOO MUCH to let her make the same mistakes I made or others that I may not have made but have seen others make. Ooo, a lot of mades and makes.
I don’t want her to suffer! That’s the bottom line! I don’t want any of my kids to suffer!
I know they will. I know they have.
I know that they will have to fall flat on their faces, because sadly as the saying goes in Spanish, “Nadie experimenta en cabeza ajena.” No one learns from another’s mistakes. They will have to learn for themselves. All I can do is be right here.
I AM right here, whether they want me to be or not. I am right here and always will be. That’s my job. And, I Love them.
I have been and will continue to risk offense and rejection as long as it means that I help them in some way. It’s the least I can do.
Experience states that it is not until they have their own kids that they will understand us, understand me, the Parent. And maybe then, just maybe, they’ll not only understand, but also forgive, appreciate and thank us, for what we do and did.
So then when do we as Catholics learn our lessons?
There’s another saying in Spanish, “Ya que le dimos las cuatro patadas al mundo.” After we have given all four kicks to the world. Basically, not until we have done what we want, in the way that we wanted, whenever we wanted and bear the consequences for it. Then, we will beat our hands to our chest begging Our Father for forgiveness.
I Pray it doesn’t take that long, I mean just look around us, 2012 isn’t far away 😉
Oh, and before I forget, there’s one more little “treasure” of advice that I was given by Padre Ramon. He always said that it was best to give one good spanking in time as opposed to a thousand when it was too late. That one could never straighten a crooked tree.
I’m just saying…