When my son Nathaniel was walking toward the direction of a priest for a blessing after a holy mass celebration two years ago, he (the priest) was telling my son to try becoming a priest like him when he grows up. Then the priest looked me straight in the eyes as we traded smiles. “If God wills it,” I told him.
I once considered priesthood when I was a lot younger. I took up the entrance exam at the nearest College seminary from where I lived and was interviewed, of course, by a priest who was also the school director.
“What made you consider priesthood?” asked the director priest.
“Because I want to serve God by turning people towards him,” I answered.
“Not only a priest can do that, but everyone can serve God in his own little way,” he said.
“Listen, I want you to think hard about it. I’m sending you home and think hard about it. Come back when you have finally decided to become a priest.”
I didn’t come back. He was right, each one of us can serve God in our own little ways. It has become so clear to me now. God wants me to build a family and to make a domestic church out of it.
I know that if I was in the seminary, I would receive wonderful human and spiritual formation and academic education. I would be taught by dedicated priests who inspire by example as I’m going to share my life with fellow seminarians who are also a source of grace, fellowship, and wisdom.
But while I was considering the priesthood, God knew best than what I should be doing with my life. He made me a family man. I was still called “padre,” but of the family. While the priest is called “padre de Iglesia,” I, on the other hand, was the “padre de Familia.”
If my son is going to ask me about considering the priesthood when he grows up, this I have to say: “If God wills it.” Because I know that while I am my son’s biological father, his creator and spiritual father is the Almighty God. I’m confident that God knows what his vocation should be.
Our constant prayer as parents should be for our children to come to know God as He is as much as we did. God would lead our children if we prepare and encourage them to respond to His call.
It has been said that a home that’s filled with the light of Christ’s truth and the warmth of his love radiates joy far beyond its walls. The family, especially in the Christian sense of it, plays an essential role in our baptismal call to be disciples and missionaries. Each member of the family is called to holiness and to reflect this holiness in his or her state of life.
The following are some thoughts on family and the important role it has to play in our society to make it a much safer and happy place for all people to live and enjoy:
The family should be such an effective voice for the things that matter.
The family should be sharing its faith with other families.
The family should become a saving community in such a way that it is communicating Christ’s love to others in word and action.
The family should be such that it succeeds in living love as communion and service as a reciprocal gift open to all.
The family should be such that it has to receive and transmit the divine love realized in the mutual commitment of the spouses, in generous and responsible procreation, in the care and welfare of the children, work and social relationships, with attention to the less fortunate and the deprived, in participation in church activities, and in commitment to civil society.
The family should become an evangelizing community by accepting the Gospel as it matures in faith.
The family should impact the entire society by its positive example.
The family should be educating children in moral values in such a way that they would grow morally upright and mature.
The family should be fostering an environment where children learn skills, morals, and values.
The family should create structure and stability in the lives of family members.
Without self-confidence, your child is most likely to fail in a sense that it is considered an essential ingredient for all aspects of your child’s healthy development. It is also such a key ingredient in which school success may be gauged or determined. But how would you be able to help your children develop confidence without the so much, sometimes unnecessary pressure imposed upon them?
You may try the following tips, hoping these may work out well for you.
Be the person you want to see in your child. Teach him resilience by being resilient yourself. You have to remember that, no matter how hard you try, no one succeeds at everything all the time.
There would be failures, setbacks, criticisms, hurts, and so on. Use these things as a learning stage for him. Offer solutions, and encourage your child about him doing better next time. Because when he does succeed, after a failure or a series of failures, he would take pride of his accomplishments.
When you find out that your child is passionate about something, support him for it. Respect and encourage his personal interests, yes, even if you don’t find them interesting at all. Supporting him, however, does not mean you’re giving him free reign to do it even to the point when it’s already interfering with his other responsibilities like personal care or schoolwork.
CELEBRATE YOUR CHILD’S SUCCESSES
Make your child feel that you care for him by recognizing how he’s grown and learned over a particular thing. Take note of his accomplishments and assure him that you’re always there to guide and to help.
GIVE YOUR CHILD UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
This would explain everything. It’s probably the most important thing you could give your child. When your child feels accepted and loved, it builds a very strong foundation for confidence. You don’t need to be a perfect parent at all, and who is? But your unconditional love would make up for all the imperfections.
Every parent would be very glad seeing their children growing up to be reliable persons and who could do things on their own. There’s that awkward feeling at first like when you realize that your kids wouldn’t need your assistance at all because they’re more than capable of doing it on their own.
Teaching them simple things such as how to tie their own shoe, arrange books, wash their hands, and so on, would one day pay off. They would thank you for that, but it’s you who should be most thankful for having done the right thing. Remember that you wouldn’t be doing such a kind of thing for your kids forever because, whether you like it or not, there comes a time when you have to let go because your kids could try or do it on their own.
But how prepared are you for such a day? Were you able to empower your children just like the way you want them to be? Were you able to send them out into the world with a strong sense of self-worth and confidence? Were your ways of motivating them effective enough to give them the upper hand in both their personal and professional relationships?
You’re not perfect as a parent, but it’s your job to keep your children alive, well-fed, and taken care of. You have got to make them but the best version of themselves. You have to empower them.
Here’s how you could do it better:
HELP THEM BECOME RESPONSIBLE PERSONS
You could start by giving them responsibility. Teach them to accept responsibility for their actions. Encourage them to stop the blame game and start accepting responsibility.
TEACH THEM HOW TO BE PATIENT
Well, the best way to teach patience is to practice patience. Be a model for patience before your children. Engage them in activities that require patience.
GIVE YOUR KIDS SOMETHING TO CARE FOR
It could be anything, maybe a plant or a pet. It might be just an ordinary task but when children start seeing the direct result of their care for something, it would give them a sense of pride nothing else could.
MAKE THEM LEARN THE VALUE OF RESPECT
Chances are, if you’re not teaching your kids respect it would eventually lost. When children respect themselves and those around them, it would serve them best in almost everything they do.
LET THEM BE SELF-SUFFICIENT
I think I wouldn’t find this one hard to implement for my four-year-old son, Nathaniel, as he’s so eager to take things all by himself. When I tried to teach him something, he first would listen and observe. The next thing you’ll see was that he’s doing it all by himself and he just wouldn’t allow you to intervene.
The good thing about self-sufficient kids is that they may be even more capable of helping others around them as their needs they could take care themselves.
TEACHING THEM HOW TO BE GRATEFUL
Naturally, children are materialistic and self-serving persons. But, the good thing is, we could teach them how to be grateful. And from thankfulness flows joy.
Once kids learn gratitude, they become sensitive to the feelings of others. They would be able to develop empathy and other skills along the way.
Be a role model for gratitude. Encourage generosity. Name your blessings.
In our deepest, darkest moments, a prayer serves as the source of our strength, joy, and love. We’re living in a very cruel, evil world now. When you try to look around, or watch in the news, killings seem to be just an ordinary thing for some people.
People are being killed just like dogs, or birds. There’s blood in our streets. More hatred. More vengeance. More violence. Human life has become less or not respected at all.
As a writer, I feel privileged to share this prayer I made to all of you, and especially for all of us. May God bless us all. Here’s the prayer:
Almighty Father, creator of Heaven and Earth and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who delivered His own people from slavery and oppression in the land of Goshen in ancient Egypt. The God whom Moses received the Ten Commandments inscribed upon a pair of stone tablets.
We thank you for everything, especially that of your great gift of human life. But would you let us come to know you more and to witness to your goodness as a loving Father who, in every circumstance, gives us what is good?
We ask for your mercy and compassion especially in these much troubled times that we have come to experience. Send us your mighty angels to protect us, our loved ones, children, families, relatives, friends, and all those who walk in the paths of righteousness and worship your name, like a hen covering her chicks under her wings.
Grant us peace and guide us with your Light in such a way that we would never lose sight of you. Shower us your love so that our hearts would be as pure as what you want them to be. Give us courage to continue doing the things that glorify your name.
Heal our land. Make us all but instruments of your peace by becoming transformative agents in conflict management, reconciliation, and healing. Be it may that, through us, we inspire others as well to become peace-makers, protectors of the sanctity of human life, minorities, the upholding of the rule of law, and mutual respect and understanding.
May we all live in free societies and that may each one of us learns to renounce hatred and seek to build bonds of understanding and friendship in this a fractured world that we live in.
May our leaders be enlightened on the importance of the Fifth Commandment, which unequivocally forbids the taking of human life, from the moment of conception to natural death and it should be treated with utmost respect and love.
Today is Happy Teachers’ Day. As we celebrate this special day for teachers around the world and for their hard work, we must never forget that one of their greatest contributions is to help young minds learn and grow.
Aside from teaching children to behave and to judge what is right and wrong, teachers play the role of second parents to the students. They take charge in shaping the life of the students under their care. They empower them.
Each child should have a caring adult in their lives. Teachers substitute biological parents in mentoring and making students learn. They are facilitators of learning.
With just the right mix of chalk and challenges, teachers could change lives and inspire so much that they awaken the natural curiosity of the minds of those they were teaching. In other words, teachers exist to make a difference in their students’ lives.
Teachers teach their students how to deal with pressure, approach problems, express themselves verbally, and in accepting mistakes and finding solutions. It is not an easy job, though.
And while their salaries may be higher now than in days gone by, but all too often they’re held in little or no esteem notwithstanding the fact that their duties have broadened by which to include responsibilities far beyond what was asked of them a generation or two ago.
Teaching has become much more difficult. Good teachers are worth their weight in gold but, clearly, most are not in it for the money. They had the respect of the community.
We are praying for their safety, health, overall wellness, and that they must continue thriving. We are thankful for having them.
We must thank them for shaping the future generation, for giving our kids much needed advice, their sacrifice, patience, dedication, and for letting us parents breathe easy.
We salute our teachers for planting the seeds of knowledge that guide, inspire, and making us all what we are today. Thank you for helping us grow and learn.
Although Jesus Christ, during his brief stay on earth a little over two thousand years ago, did not marry someone and to literally bear children with any woman, he was the head of the spiritual family he was establishing. It’s like a flock of sheep where offsprings (represented by lambs) follow their Shepherd.
Christ plays the role of a dad. He’s there to protect his children from wolves in sheep’s clothing. He’s there to protect the family from predatory animals and from all forms of corruption that may consume or damage it.
Jesus shows all of us how it’s like being the head of the family. It’s not an accident but every dad was chosen by God to be the father of his children just as Christ was especially chosen by the Almighty Father to head his spiritual family—the Church.
Fathering a child is not about being perfect, but to serve what God, who knows all your strengths and weaknesses, wants you to do and to be. Christ was sent into this world for the sinners, for the lost sheep. When we accept Christ and follow him, we are safe and what we’ve lost would be restored.
We should allow Jesus, the Messiah, to transform our lives. We should love being a father and to translate such a thing into a reality that makes a difference in the way we live.
To all the dads out there, including me, raising kids should be such a profound and life-changing experience, changed forever by the living reality of Christ Jesus, as we are all called to seek the Lord and receive the salvation that He brings.
Raising children should be something that invites us to be disrupted by a God who wants to be close to us. A God that says we fit the bill perfectly for His plan for our family and, most importantly, a God for whom the gift of life is one of the greatest proofs of His love.
Parenting is about who we are as a person in the first place. It is learning about our flaws, needs, growth, and potentials. It is about our concern, as parents, of our own sinful behavior and how we’re going to make it right.
The apostle Paul has this to say for parents in Colossians chapter three, verse twenty-one: “Do not stir up your children, lest they become discouraged.” Simply put, we should not sin against our children but, instead, treat them with as much kindness and respect as we treat any fellow adult in our lives.
We should be exemplifying from such a perspective that it is easier for them to see love, hope, and inspiration that would move them to action. So that when they emulate us, we’re able to allow God’s work in us through parenting.
Parenting isn’t just merely the bringing up of children to become independent and competent adults, but is something more than that. It is, for one thing, about guiding the children and to lay the foundation by which they would always desire to fully seek God as their father. A parent, therefore, should become a source from which he or she no longer is the man or woman who live in his or her own person, but Christ who lives in him or her.
We should be demonstrating to our children that God’s principle work best for us in such a way that would convince them that God’s laws are worthwhile, and that the divine principles we’re teaching them are for their own good.
God’s work must truly be our own. If we could demonstrate to our children that God’s way work for us, we’re sending them a message that they, too, could accomplish extraordinary things when they learn to cooperate with the grace of God. We must turn their hearts to their true Father in heaven—the Almighty God.
Young children are naturally curious. They want to know just about anything and that’s fine. But what if your child asks you something you don’t quite expect a young mind would come up with? Like, for example, your child is asking you on whether God exists or not.
How are you going to explain it to your child? Of course, you would be saying “yes, God exists.” But what if your child is not totally convince yet and, instead, wants you to explain further by asking: “If God exists, why does he allow suffering?”
I think it’s best to tell your child what you know about it, to the best of your ability, even if he or she may never come to understand it yet. But what if there’s no God? Would this affect the kind of parenting you’re now introducing to your child?
And if somebody’s going to ask you the same question, what should your answer be? If God exists, why does he allow suffering? You may try to reflect at my answer to such a question below, thus enjoy reading:
I have long ago dismissed the argument about whether God existed or not. I have read lots of atheistic writings from vocal and famous atheists and existentialists and the more that I read and internalized their works, the more I was plunged into the light of truth which further cemented my belief in a deity.
Back in college, a colleague of mine was trying to convince me, even to the point of lecturing me, about his newfound philosophy based upon the books he read. He quoted something from German philosopher Nietzsche’s existentialist book titled Thus Spoke Zarathustra, saying: “God is dead.” Having read about Marx’s stand on atheism, I simply told him that his claim was weak because to say that “God is dead” meaning to say he came to exist, although he’s dead.
I even instructed my colleague by saying: “This is how you should say it: ‘God did not exist.'” Of course, I lied to him, because deep in my heart I know there is God.
But, if God exists, why does he allow suffering? Is it wrong to ask why God allows all the troubles and sufferings in the world? The prophet Habakkuk had one time asked God: “Why do you make me witness wrongdoing? And why do you tolerate oppression? Why are destruction and violence before me? And why do quarreling and conflict abound?” (Habakkuk 1:3.)
But do we really have to blame God for all the suffering in the world? The Bible has the answer as it clearly states in 1st John chapter five, verse nineteen: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”
This world was dominated and reflects the personality of the invisible spirit creature who is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation chapter twelve, verse nine.) Satan is hateful, deceptive, and cruel. So the world, under his influence, is full of hatred, deceit, and cruelty. That is one reason why there is so much suffering.
It was very interesting how God handled rebellion in heaven long time ago. When Lucifer rebelled against God, and wanted to be like God, he allowed him to become how it would be like.
And when Satan, the Great Evil Beast, together with his minions, was cast down to the earth, and with the Fall of Man in Eden, God has allowed him to show how he would rule mankind. God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan’s guidance.
But why has the Almighty Father allowed suffering to continue for so long and why has He not prevented such things as horrible crimes?
God has not helped Satan to rule this world. If God were to prevent horrible crimes, for instance, would he not, in effect, be supporting the case of the rebels? Would God not be making people think that perhaps humans can govern themselves without disastrous results? If God were to act in that way, he would become party to a lie. However, “it is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18.)
So what would God do about all the harm that has resulted from the rule of humans and the influence of Satan?
The effects of sin would be removed through faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, and the effects of death would be reversed by means of the resurrection. God would so use Jesus, as what the Bible has told in 1st John chapter three, verse eight: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
God would bring all of this about at just the right time. We can be glad that he has not acted sooner, for his patience, as could be read in 2nd Peter chapter three, verses nine to ten, has given us the opportunity to learn the truth and to serve him.
For the time being, to quote from the book of John chapter four, verse twenty-three, God has been actively seeking sincere worshipers and helping them to endure any suffering that may come upon them in this troubled world.
Every parent should know that their young kids need places and time to explore for the reason that they’re learning best through direct, first hand experiences with the people and objects in the world around them. However, we must as well be careful to ensure that their safety is not sacrificed. Parents need to be supervising for the safety limits of their kids because their curiosity could also lead them into danger.
Young children are so curious in such a way that they would use all of their senses in developing security and confidence as they wonder, explore, discover, and gain knowledge for themselves right in their own backyard or nearby park. Such a concrete learning is a vital foundation for future abstract, symbolic (pencil and paper) learning in books and school.
A child’s curiosity could be spurred or triggered through a variety of experiences indoors and out, whether at home, in the community, or anywhere else. We could take our kids to the nearest zoo, children’s museum, children’s park, or even on a hike at a local forest park. Children may also find the following places to be fun and interesting: TV station, lumberyard, bakery, construction site, airport, factory, and so on.
Introduce the child to the proper use of a magnifying glass as this would help him or her in observing objects in more detail. When we take our child to a garden of flowers, right in our own backyard, and to ask him or her if he or she ever really looked inside a flower is to give him or her such a chance of looking and seeing what’s inside the bud. And it’s all because of your interest.
There are lots of ways in which we could encourage curiosity in our children wherever they are and may be, beginning from such a simple observation and explanation of ordinary things to the more complex ones. Our children would learn a lot from us as much as we would from them. But, as parents, we should learn to take initiatives. We should be making the first move on what could be good for our children.