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Strenna 2017 - October

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Strenna 2017 - October reflections

The art of patience in the Family           October

The Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, when presenting a theological vision of love in matrimony and in the family, highlighted some essential attitudes, among which is patience as a characteristic of the God of the Covenant. He shows patience through Mercy. Thus, for parents, patience must be an experience of compassion and personal self-control to avoid reacting with violence in front of the weakness of the children, to avoid being dominated by evil, to avoid becoming discouraged in practicing the good.

For the reflection of the month of November, we propose a part of the catechesis of Pope Francis on the educative mission of the families and the virtue of patience (20 May 2015):

“Christian communities are called to offer support to the educative mission of the families and they do this above all with the light of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul reminds us of the reciprocity of duties between parents and children: ‘Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged’ (Col 3: 20-21). At the basis of everything there is love, the one God gives us: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. (1 Cor 13: 5-6). Even in the best of families, we need to bear with each other and much patience is needed to bear with each other! But this is how life is.

Life is not made in a laboratory; it is made in reality. Jesus Himself experienced family education. In this case as well, the grace of Christ’s love brings to fullness what is written in human nature. How many stupendous examples we have of Christian parents full of human wisdom! They show that a good family education is the backbone of humanism. Its social irradiation is the resource that compensates for gaps, wounds, paternal and maternal gaps affecting less fortunate children. This irradiation can work authentic miracles. And these miracles happen in the Church every day!

I hope that the Lord will give Christian families the faith, freedom, and courage they need for their mission. If family education rediscovers pride in its protagonism, many things will change for the better; for uncertain parents and for disappointed children. It is time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile-because they have exiled themselves from their childrens education-and fully reassume their educational role. We hope that the Lord will give this grace to the parents: not to exile themselves from the education of their children. Only love, tenderness, and patience can do this."