Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Roots Like These, Maybe?

There are only two lasting bequests  
we can give our children - 
one is roots, and the other, wings.

 - Hodding S. Carter

Rain =  the shower of care that parents give their children, materially:  nutritious food, safe and comfortable lodgings, decent clothes to wear, access to real learning

Soil =  where the "nutrients" of a healthy emotional life come from: a stable and secure home life, responsible and loving mother and father, supportive extended family network, caring teachers and mentors, wholesome friends

Air = the atmosphere we're born into:  whether it's country, city, or suburbs; if the neighborhood is safe; if the country is in conflict or war;  the prevalent influence of violence and immorality via the media or surroundings, in general

Sun = the light of God: knowing His presence, loving Him, serving Him + all those things that go into creating a heart for faith, hope, and charity

Roots = the result of good healthy rain, soil, air, and sun. Good deep roots allow a child to weather well the winds and storms of life.  They reach down to deep wells of faith and self determination, when all other resources go dry.  Tapping the springs of eternal priorities, good roots allow children to reach toward the heavens --  guiding them safely into productive, contented adulthood, and, eventually, sainthood.

Which is where the wings come in.

Remember me in the family tree
My name, my days, my strife;
Then I'll ride upon the wings of time
And live an endless life.

~Linda Goetsch

"Root Juice" For Catholic Families

Balance discipline with fun
   -- pick and choose carefully where to draw lines in the sand when making family rules; few good rules followed are better than many rules ignored
   -- stick to the rules, firmly, but dispassionately, and with explanations so everyone understands why these rules are necessary
   -- laugh more than you hollar
   -- do something every single day to build a happy memory for each person in our family
        (and see how happy you become!)

 Nurture special family traditions that incorporate the Faith and nurture children individually
   -- Celebrate namedays and Holy Days with special attention whenever possible
   -- Find special family patrons and make big days out of their feast days
        (For instance, since our sir name is "Davis," the feast of King St. David of Wales is a big day at our house -- and we make very merry on the feast of St. Patrick due to our Irish roots.)

  Say "I love you" and show it through your example of little "services" to everyone
   -- Be an active member of your parish; encourage the children to join in whenever possible
   -- Be an example of charity in the world at large -- from letting someone into traffic to volunteering at a homeless shelter; actions speak louder than words.
   -- Be a symbol of charity in your home, working tirelessly and cheerfully -- but not without expecting gratitude.  Gratitude must be taught to children; thank them for their work and expect them to thank you for yours

   -- Pray alone and allow the children to see you doing so
   -- Pray together as a couple and be glad that the children know you do
   -- Pray together every day as a family on your knees or standing before the crucifix
   -- Pray throughout the day: at meals; when passing a Catholic church where the Blessed Sacrament dwells; when passing a cemetery; when traveling; when an emergency vehicle passes; when any trial occurs; when any happiness requires a prayer of thanksgiving

Resolve to be a Happy Family
   -- Happiness is a choice -- one that we have to recommit to every single day
   --  The happy memories that our children carry through their lives dig deep roots of habit and priority:
    * If the majority of their happy memories surround football, for instance, their life's goal will be to recapture that happiness -- through sports
    *  If the majority of their happy memories surround faith and family, they will carry that priority into adulthood

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this beautiful post Lisa. Great picture too! God bless you and your family.