9.14.2010

My Mission (and I chose to accept it)

The following is an excerpt from The Diocesan Chronicle: the official news of the Diocese of Baker written by Rev. Christopher Agoha, SMMM (September 12, 2010)
The school system that normally runs from the pre-school to the university academic level can only truly be counted as useful when it aids the development of the natural, spiritual, academic and moral powers of an individual.  Parents are the natural educators of a child who teach from the earliest days of a child's life with actions, signs and spoken words.  The formal school education system enhances this knowledge by introducing a more structured system of teaching.  The intellect is like a two-edged sword; it can record both the good and the bad.  The child's intellect is very delicate; it can absorb every experience, but lacks the ability to discern the good from the bad.  It would therefore be short-sighted to define education only from an intellectual perspective.  Education must include ethical, spiritual and natural wisdom meant for the realization of a complete and mature human person.  This ought to be a concern for all who are responsible for the education of children.  The time and culture in which we live often lacks a solid moral base and this puts the moral lives of our children at risk.

We should be concerned because lack of a solid moral base has an impact on the child's intellectual development and formation.  Unfortunately, the spirit of the age also affects young families and their willingness to be moral educators.  Some of these parents see moral and spiritual education as indoctrination of their children, in place of which they advocate for so-called free and liberal scientific knowledge.

It is important for parents, particularly those with young children to see the comprehensive education of their children as their most important mission.  Scientific education is just a small part of the comprehensive education system; education that is void of moral and spiritual upbringing is very artificial and dangerous to the human person and society in general.
After reading this I thought, "this is exactly what I've been trying to say for years."  All the discipline and behavior problems in our schools and in our society have been  compounded since we have taken out the teaching of moral and spiritual components in education.  They've been taken out in the name of separating church from state, and I believe to our society's own demise.  Some would believe that the problems of our time could be fixed if say, a single mother of three, could just afford her house payment and not have to work three jobs.  What if, however, she had not had babies out of wedlock or relied on her family for support rather than the state?  What if she had the moral strength to do the right thing?  We can't be perfect, but when we have a moral compass to follow and fall back on it is a good thing.  It is good for an individual and ultimately good for our society.

As a parent who believes strongly in teaching my children to one day become "complete and mature human person[s]," I take seriously Agoha's statement that I should "see the comprehensive education of [my] children as [my] most important mission."  I do.  I really do.  Now I just have to figure out exactly how to do that.

I worry about, as I stated one time, the fast and heavy train of society.  I see my children trying to walk in a moral and ethical way only to have their tiny little feet crushed by that fast moving train.  Like sheep before wolves (where have heard that before?).  I have to keep telling myself that God is bigger, God is stronger, God has already won this battle.  Right now, while my children are small, I am like a watchdog.  I am crouched by the door listening, watching and sniffing out that which is dangerous and detrimental to my children reaching their fullest potentials.  At some point they will walk on their own and I do not want to look back and know that I had not done all  I could.

As St. Elizabeth Ann Seton once said:
...the life of virtue is much more than knowing the difference between right and wrong, it is having the strength to choose the right.  And this strength comes only with practice under the watchful and vigilant eyes of a mother.  Teach them to cultivate their true calling to holiness.  Teach them to give their noble soul its rights and our God His rights!  You must teach your children in the way that they should go.  Much of this way they will walk with you, but you will have to keep a careful watch on their footsteps...And don't stop calling them back to virtue for a moment, but sigh incessantly for that happy hour when you shall all be together, absorbed in the ocean of His love, which will be your life, your hope, your consolation.  The mother who gives up on goodness forfeits forever.

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