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Thursday, May 31, 2007

A lesson for Dads from a Father

The above linked story is one that I had many reactions to as I read it. Some of my reactions where things like: "attaboy, you show her!", "that is really sad." and "Wow, people are really slow to learn." The mentality of the woman involved was that because of her situation she knew better than the Church what was right for her and since that was her "ministry" it was more important than right or wrong. It is the same attitude I see from lots of people regarding cloning, abortion, and many other sins today.

Part of me would have invited her into the office just as the priest did and give her a similar ultimatum that what she was doing was incompatible with Church teaching and that she couldn't continue it. I may have given her a period of time to think about it from a few minutes to a few days if I was feeling generous. At the end of that time if I had received the same answer I would have taken her out of every ministry she participated in effective immediately. She would be done and gone, end of discussion.

The priest in question did something different. After confronting her he took away one duty and then another, and another. Eventually they are all gone but he did it slowly. I think this is a lesson or something for us to remember as dad's. Each time he took something away it gave her another chance for reversion, she still has the chance for reversion but he continually gave her small "punishments" not for the sake of punishment itself but for calling her back to the Church. This priest shows some serious spine but also pastorally treats her as a father would calling her back. Maybe that is why the Church is often slow to formally excommunicate those who publicly decry its teachings from within. Each part of the exchange going down the road is a cry for them to come back to the faith that God gives us.

I think that this example is something that us Dad's can learn from. We have to constantly call our children back to proper behavior and following Christ. We have to punish them but out of love for them.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

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