Monday, July 02, 2007

Freedom and the Domestic Church

Melanie makes some excellent points about that freedom question in her most recent post at the Wine Dark Sea. I especially liked this:

Piety does not necessarily equal faith. And going to church on Sunday, having lots of kids and homeschooling do not in and of themselves guarantee a living faith. (Though as RCM points out, free will does mean that even parents who do all the right things can still raise kids who turn away from the faith.)

Real parental love is modeled on the love that God has for us, which respects us an individuals, which always invites but never coerces. Which, however, doesn't mean a lack of discipline!

So what's the answer? Cultivate the domestic church. Live the sacraments: frequent confession, daily mass, praying together as a family every day, and above all really living the gospel. That's the only way to raise Catholic kids. That's the only way to really live.

Sadly, I think many people see homeschooling as some sort of magical cure-all and are shocked, shocked when it doesn't solve all their kids' problems. It reminds me of the movie, The Village, where a group of people who've been hurt and damaged try to go to the woods to found a new society. But what happens is they can't form a perfect society. Because sin resides in the heart of man, not in society. And no matter what we do to seal our families off from the world, we will still have to battle the problem of our fallen human nature.
I assume she didn't mean to imply that daily mass was essential to keep your kids Catholic, by the way.

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