Heroic Catholic Families
An excellent article on Catholic parenting by Dr. Jeff Mirus :
"The Blueprint for Heroic Family Life"
"..In early third millennium America, heroic Catholic families generally don’t send their kids to public schools if they have any conceivable alternative. Nor do they take advantage of parochial or diocesan schools if their staffs are still riddled with cafeteria Catholics (or worse). If a sound Catholic school is not available, heroic Catholic families pull up roots and move, or they found independent schools, or they home school. Even if outstanding schools are available, they may still home school. I use the word “generally” in the first sentence, because there are exceptions to every parenting rule, and it isn’t anybody’s job but yours to make the best decision for your own children..."
"...Heroic Catholic parents strive to be outstanding spiritual and moral examples to their children. It goes without saying that they never undermine the Church’s authority by making exceptions about which Church teachings they will believe and follow. Nor do they let a spirit of criticism undermine their children’s respect for the Church. They must certainly discuss difficulties and abuses frankly, but they will not constantly complain and find fault..."
Dr. Mirus goes on to remind us that firmness and flexibility are both needed to obtain a good final result - a new generation of faithful, well-formed Catholics:
"...All heroic Catholic parents must combine these two dispositions into one, by following the famous maxim: In essential things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity..."
He backs up his advice by invoking the late Fr. Hardon (well known to Catholic homeschoolers!):
"...When Fr. Hardon warned that only heroic Catholic families will survive, he meant that only families who make deep and continuous sacrifices for God and the Good will be able to raise children who remain close and retain their Faith. He was referring to that same heroic virtue which is required for canonization, that is, the determination to practice virtue and follow God’s will consistently over time even when it is inconvenient or unpopular. That is what heroic virtue is. That is really all it is; it is within reach, and it is quite enough..."
Dr. Mirus concludes by reminding us that it's not all up to us:
"..Even with heroic virtue, however, immediate success is not guaranteed. Children are their own persons. They might, even with the best of upbringing, make bad choices, stray from the Church, reject God. So might their parents. This brings us to the final and most important characteristic of heroic Catholic families: They keep praying for each other until they die, and even after they die. Heroic Catholic parents—and heroic Catholic children—are always deeply committed to prayer. They live lives of prayer. They pray constantly, both now and forever..."
A very encouraging article, and a sound reminder of who and why we are. Parents.