Sunday, October 22, 2006
Tradition and the desires of the youth.
Yesterday I went to meet with some old friends in Sacramento for a day together to talk and enjoy each others company. It was largely unimpressive in that we were just a bunch of families and friends coming together to be "friends" to one another. They are friends from Communion and Liberation . What was impressive is that we are all together because of a common goal: our faith. The theme of the meeting was "We are here to rip one another from the nothingness"L. Guissani. Life becomes mundane if we don't strive to make it something more, to give it a goal or a meaning. I think everyone knows about that. Mom's wake up to their babies crying and think "Why?" There is an ultimate goal, and the point of our gathering together is to remind one another of the goal and to help one another along in a realistic way. We be friends to one another.
(This seems to be contrary to me talking about the fact that I didn't have friends before. I don't have friends I talk to on a daily basis who ask me about my life, who do things with me, but this group of "friends" I have known most of my life. They are actually like extended family in that we come together a couple times a year to see where we are all at, if we are ok, and we motivate each other to keep going when things seem to be pointless and boring.)
So anyway...I was watching a movie/talk by this priest Luigi Guissani who founded the group Communion and Liberation and I was struck by the fact that it seemed like he was talking to me about my role as a parent, and what it is all about. It was amazing to hear him talk about how my adherence to the values and traditions will set a presidence for the lives of my children in the future. But it is my understanding of these things that is of utmost importance because I need to be able to pass along this understanding. For example, we celebrate Thanksgiving, but if the children do not have an adequate understanding of WHY we celebrate Thanksgiving then it becomes another big fancy meal where we all stuff ourselves and watch football for the hell of it. Then they grow up and have the same big fancy meal but don't understand why they are doing it. It becomes something meaningless. So our goal as parents should be to stir in our children a desire for awareness, for being critical of ones reality so that the ultimate understanding and fascination that the traditions cause become huge and satisfying-- their education is fulfilling. And so ultimately we need to do the same thing with our faith, so that their reason for attending church, studying the bible, etc., become something that is fulfilling to their life and not another mundane act with no end in sight. As Guissani says, "Children need ideal adherence in their educator for them to develop a true and critical understanding of tradition."
Sounds deep, eh? It just means that we need to be responsible in educating our children to the fullest extent. If we don't have the answers, get them. If we don't understand something, study it until reason becomes evident. And act responsibly. If we preach a truth to our children we must also adhere to that because it is "the truth". If we do contrary then our actions undermine our word, and scandal can insue.
I'm still learning this parenting stuff. It can get pretty intimidating sometimes. Soldier on!