“The future of humanity passes by way of the family” (Familiaris Consortio)
“Parents ..are.. the “first heralds” [of the Faith] for their children.. Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 225 & 226)
As Catholic parents, we have a unique and in the end, non-delegable role in the fostering of our children’s faith. Fifty years ago, we would have been doing this most important job against the backdrop of a society that, by and large understood the Good News of the Gospel and how it underpins all of our lives. It was also, at the time, a society which recognised the importance and authority of parents. In the 21st Century in the West, Christian parents can no longer rely on such a consensus.
Many in our society have yet to hear the Good News, others are increasingly hostile to it. On the one side, business is eager to sell us services and products which claim to do our parenting for us. On the other, the secular State, armed with ever more sophisticated means of control and surveillance, increasingly seems to believe that parenting is too important a job to be left to parents and is ever keener to impose its agenda on parents and on their children.
In such a context, how do we understand the nature of the family? How do we bring our children up to understand the love of God? How do we foster their relationship with Him? How do we, as mothers and fathers, maintain our confidence to live our God-given vocation as parents, and in the process come to a deeper understanding of our own relationship with God?
(C) Copyright 2007 Karen Rodgers