Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blessing My Daughter, and the Domestic Church

One of my daughters had surgery done on her jaw today. She's okay, but she is not a happy camper. I've picked up prescriptions that include a painkiller of the 'don't use this unless you absolutely have to' sort. (A Christian not 'trusting God?!' I've discussed that before. (March 4, 2010) "We're called to holiness - not stupidity." (May 19, 2010))

I'm getting off-topic.

Before my wife and daughter headed out to the hospital, my daughter asked for my blessing. Which I have: simply touching her forehead and saying something like, "may God keep his hand on you."

What do I think I am, some kind of priest?

No, I think I'm the father of a Catholic family.

I've written about that before. (September 24, 2009) I'm a practicing Catholic, so I've read all of Ephesians 5:21-30, so I'm aware that I'm head of the house - as Christ is head of the Church. You'll get a notion of what that means, if you remember what my Lord did for the Church, on Golgotha.

The Domestic Church: No Bell Tower, and a Lot of Duties

The Church has quite a bit to say about marriage, and family. Here's an excerpt from From Article 7 | The Sacrament of Matrimony, VI. The Domestic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1655-1658):
"In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica.168 It is in the bosom of the family that parents are 'by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.'169

"It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way 'by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.'170 Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and 'a school for human enrichment.'171 Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous-even repeated-forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one's life."
(Catechism, 1656, 1657)
That little prayer I offered, when asked for a blessing from my daughter, is just part of the package. We're a family: an Ecclesia domestica, a domestic Church. We're one little unity of the Catholic Church, here in central Minnesota.

There's more in the Catechism about the family, like the nature of the family (2201-2203), the Christian family (2204-2206), and the family in society (2207-2213).

Then there are the duties. The duties of parents are outlined in 2221-2230. I think the first paragraph is a pretty good summary, as well as an introduction:
"The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. 'The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.'29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30"
(Catechism, 2221)
I may have learned at least as much from trying to be a good father for my children, as they've learned from me and my wife.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.