A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Posts Tagged ‘siblings

Yesterday at Mass, a couple of rows ahead of me, I saw a little girl about three years old with her mother and baby brother. She kissed her brother on the leg over and over again. When her mother made her stop because the baby began to fuss, she started kissing her mother’s arm.

I’ve noticed children crying, having tantrums, and talking in a stage whisper during Mass. But showing affection to their siblings? Not usually.

Maybe it’s a concept I have trouble wrapping my mind around because my brother and I didn’t get along well as children. But that little girl reminded me of how important it is to treat our family members well.

First thing in the morning, it’s tough to be pleasant. (Not being a morning person, I can’t bring myself to use the word “cheery.”) And after a long day of work at home or the office, it’s not always easy to deal positively with whining or complaining or to make our children crack open the homework books or practise piano. Family members often see the grumpiness, sadness, bitterness or frustration we hide from the rest of the world—and not enough of the kindness, empathy and helpfulness we show others. But our families should be getting the best part of us.

The Catechism offers us some important reminders about family dynamics, including these:

my family

My family in 1973

  • “The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members’ respect for one another” (s. 2206).
  • “Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and disinterested service are the rule” (s. 2223).

We want our homes to be havens and not battlegrounds, and we want to give our children an example of what healthy family relationships look like. So here are a few thoughts: Read the rest of this entry »

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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