Telling the Truth About Youth Part II By John Clement Dionysius

Written by on 01/22/2020

Telling the Truth About Youth Part II By John Clement Dionysius

(A Christian Solution to a Post-Christian problem)

A Brief Introduction on the Truth About Youth

How do we go about telling the truth about youth? The first step to establishing a solution to any problem is to first admit there is one, and second, define it. I am confident that Part I of this two-part article has done just that. The next step is to seek out and find examples of historical success, and the last is to mimic them or find someone who has already done this and proceed to follow their example. Remember, there is nothing wrong with being a sheep, in fact in most cases it is precisely what you are called to be.  I am a father of five young Catholic children who has been tasked with navigating through the treacherous waters of proper parenting and education. This is the vocation I CHOSE, and therefore must carry out its duties to the best of my ability with the assistance of God’s divine grace. Below I will attempt to explain how I have done this up to this point.  It is essential to telling the truth about youth.

Scripture and Tradition

81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”42

“and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. (CCC)

There is no source of true wisdom greater than these two great elements of our faith. To have a clear and orthodox understanding of the Sacred Scriptures can bring even the most troubled and tortured individual great peace and joy in any trial. However, in order to acquire such an understanding, it is imperative that we take time to read it. This is the first and most obvious problem in Catholic families (especially parents) today. How can you possibly expect to teach your children what you yourself do not know? It truly is amazing how thorough and concise the scriptures are regarding proper parenting if only one might take the time to read and understand them. We, as Catholics, have everything at our disposal to accomplish this task and yet we refuse. All the while allowing Protestantism to beat us at our own game. Refamiliarizing ourselves with the unadulterated and orthodox understanding of the scriptures as they pertain to family life is the first key to true parental success in the modern age.

As for Tradition, this happens to be the wellspring of inspired wisdom passed down from generation to generation, providing us with everything necessary to understand and maintain orthodoxy in our faith. It also contains a key that unlocks the solution for Catholic parents to approach the education of their children in a truly Catholic and traditional manner. Tradition consists of all types of sources such as, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The lives of the Saints, The teachings of the Early Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church, etc. As we trace these teachings through history from the beginning of the church, we begin to see the slow workings of the Church as it begins to establish its own system of education throughout the ages. This system grew with the church until it finally reached its peak of maturity and perfection in the order of St. Ignatius of Loyola, know as the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. The specific details of this growth and maturity are for another day and another article, but suffice it to say that this time-tested system of education was responsible for saints such as, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Francis De Sales, and I could go on and on. The immediate reversion to such a system is absolutely vital to the restoration of the priesthood and religious vocations, marriage, and the Church as a whole. I am currently aware of only one individual in the entire world who has actually done the necessary work to restore such a system and would be more than willing to share his credentials with anyone interested.  This is the battle almost no one is fighting, and it is the one Satan himself is distracting us from by keeping us focused on the daily trivial goings on in the Church and the world. We must stay focused. 

Embrace the Cross

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16, 24)

This section will by far be the most difficult of the entire two-part article. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, therefore we are all called to self-denial and a carrying of the cross we have chosen. The cross we have chosen directly corelates with our state in life. Whether we be priests, religious, discerning, or married, each state provides a cross we are called to embrace and carry to our respective deaths. As parents we see children as blessings until it is time to actually parent or educate in any real sense. Then we often see them as burdens or ‘crosses”. If we are honest with ourselves it is not the children that are the cross, but rather the call to do our duty as it pertains to the children. After all, you did choose to have the child, did you not? So often those duties that should come first and foremost feel like heavy burdens because they require us to deny ourselves certain attachments that we have. They temporarily (and sometimes permanently) get in the way of what we think we want or need. If honesty wins the day then we can admit that this actually explains most of the reasons we get angry and impatient with our children. It is not because they spilled their juice all over the floor, which can quite easily be cleaned up, but rather it is the fact that this incident has interrupted OUR personal agenda for the moment and we just can’t have that.  This is just a small example of the types of personal reformations we must pursue as Catholic parents when it comes to fulfilling the duties we have to our children. Getting back to the topic at hand in the original article there are possibly some more extravagant sacrifices that Catholic parents in this modern age are being called to. Let’s consider the public-school argument. If in fact we, as Catholics, can no longer send our children to public schools then we are faced with some difficulties. The first is that too often Private Catholic schools are too expensive and offer many of the same problems found in the public system. Remember, Bad company corrupts good morals. Just because the school is “Catholic” doesn’t mean too much in this day and age unfortunately. This leaves us with only one truly viable option for providing our children with the best possible path towards holiness, and that is homeschool. Believe me I know what some of you are thinking at this point. This would require some to quit THEIR jobs, sell THEIR homes, abandon THEIR hopes and dreams, etc. This is the point where we must honestly ask the question, what is it all worth if my child loses heaven? What does it all amount to in the end when there is nothing left to possess but life itself? In that context all these sacrifices that seem so intimidating now reveal themselves as actually being quite insignificant in the end. 

A Brief Conclusion on the Truth About Youth

“Then shall they deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill you; and ye will be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. And then will many be offended, and will deliver one another up, and hate one another; and many false prophets shall arise and shall mislead many; and because lawlessness shall prevail, the love of the most shall grow cold; but he that has endured to the end, *he* shall be saved.” (Matthew 24,9-13)

The times we find ourselves born of are treacherous and the path we are called to is sacrificial, but still we have the everlasting promise of our Lord. The cross that was the sin of man was heavy even for Christ, the Son of God. How can we possibly take issue with carrying one that is merely laden with our own sin and bad choices? Do we not deserve to have to carry at least that? Christ did not come to take your cross from you, but rather to give you unwavering hope and the grace of faith that, when you have endured in its carrying to the top of the mount and the end of your natural life overcomes you, you will be embraced with a life so wholesome and complete that you would happily endure that temporal suffering a thousand times more if it be necessary. What parent does not desire such life for their child? What father, when his child asks for a fish, hands him a serpent? We are called to be Christian parents not worldly ones, and Christians follow Christ. What is it that Christ demands of his followers? “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”. So set aside some time for reading and understanding scripture. Read the Catechism and learn what your duties are in regards to raising your children. Examine yourself and your relationship with your children. Lastly, take time to research what your children are learning in their current educational structure as well as what they could be learning in a truly Catholic one. Pax Christi.

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