Saturday, December 13, 2008

When You Least Expect It

Sometimes just getting started is the most difficult part. An exercise program, diet, or beginning today's entry in your blog, all fall in that category. Forgiving a family member, reconciling with God (whether it's your anger with Him or your belief that He's angry with you), turning away from sin, getting help for addictions, or going to Church, sometimes takes years for it to happen. In most cases it is really a matter of understanding. You can put the past behind maybe not all in one day but gradually, healing from inside and out, from the head to the heart. The Chinese proverb that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step" is true. Our modern world has contributed to another fallacy, we must not fail. This philosophy has lead to schools, parents and even communities, to doing ridiculous things. Self esteem is the most overrated word in our vocabulary today. In an effort to preserve it for our children often obstacles are removed. Pain and discomfort even in their mildest forms are viewed as a bad thing. You may disagree because you think I love my child and I don't want anything bad to happen to them. However, I will speak from my own experiences. My philosophy is it's okay for them to fail from time to time, failure is a great teacher. The most important thing is to be there for them, to teach them that there is a tomorrow and that over coming failure builds character. You learn that you can rebound. You can make amends. It does far more good for your self esteem. Our role as parents is to love, guide, and pray (yes real prayers on a daily basis) that they have the information, moral fortitude and tools to do the right things in their decision making processes. If they do make a mistake, that they will not cause irreparable harm to themselves or others. Along the same lines when dealing with a child's spiritual life there is a parallel mindset. You must first love, guide (by being an example of a good follower of Christ), and pray. Your job is to build the foundation so that at some point their faith will become internalized. We all fall off the path, we are all sinners. If your child turns away from his or her faith, be patient, be loving, be an example, show them how loving and merciful God is. Keep praying, that's what St. Monica did and Augustine came around. God can use even fools like myself to do His work. Lest I remind you Moses killed a man, David, who was called a man after God's own heart, was an adulterer, who had Bathsheba's husband Uriah put on the front of battle lines so he could have her. Peter who spent three years living with Jesus witnessed His miracles, was present at the Transfiguration, denied Christ three times. Failure is not a problem when forgiveness awaits you and sometimes it's when you least expect it. Close your eyes and create this image in your mind. The prodigal son is returning and his father sees him off in the distance and he runs to him. That is your Heavenly Father running to you.

2 comments: said...

Paul, you do well to speak out above the loud voices of our materialistic culture. I look forward to your future posts.

Paul Bernacchio said...

Thanks. It is my prayer that this blog will grow and be instrumental in developing dialogue about the ways to salvation and the current roadblocks that are prevalent in our society. We can easily throw our hands up in the air at what appears to be the futility of saving souls but that's not what Christ calls us to do. Please pass this site on to as many as possible. God Bless, Paul