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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Fr. Voigt- As you sow, thus you shall reap

As you sow, thus you shall reap
Fr. Voigt 

A Family Tree

You have heard it said that "like father, like son."  If you witness a young man taking care of the elderly and being kind to children, then you can bet that his father and mother are just as kind and loving as this boy.  If you find a young man swearing and treating others with contempt, then you can bet that his parents are just the same. Now it is important in these critical days to take up the subject of the family.  For everything begins in the family and all society is determined by the strength of the families in that society.  Let us consider the purpose of the marriage bond, the obligation of the parents toward their children and finally the discipline that makes a virtuous life.

The Catholic Church prior to Vatican II emphasized that the purpose of the marriage is to bear children which must be returned to God.  In each marriage the husband and the wife express their love for each other and the incarnation of that love is their children.  The marriage act, therefore, must always be opening to the creative act of God Who instills in
that little union of seed and egg - a soul.  The immortal soul of the child is presented to the mother and father as a divine trust.  The child is not a present to be used in whatever way the adults determine but instead is a trust that must be cared for physically and spiritually.  Now these children will determine the salvation of mom and dad.  Hence the importance 
of studying the obligations which marriage and family places upon the mother and father.  

In the first place all fathers know that they are the bread winners in the family and hence must be concerned with the physical needs of the children.  This is spelled out by the need for food, clothing and shelter.  No one doubts this obligation on the part of the parents.  It is the second obligation that causes great problems.  As the father gives the seed of love to his wife for the begetting of a child, so he is responsible for giving the seed of eternal life through the education of his son (or daughter) in the virtues that lead one to heaven.  In other words the father has the responsibility to encourage the child to holiness.  Since he cannot give what he does not possess then he must focus upon holiness and a virtuous life himself.  Now if that is the crucial obligation then how does the father go about it.

From the earliest days of the child's life the goal must be to discipline the child in virtue.  To discipline means to teach the virtues that Christ exemplified.  We must disciple our children to know, love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
This occurs by the plan of the father and mother to sanctify their children.  The kids must be corrected for there is not perfection without correction.  Now the father is the source of the correction and must follow the dictates of St. Paul who warns the fathers not to antagonize their kids but discipline them in the Lord.  This means that no correction takes 
place which does not seek to put the child in the presence of God and to act as Jesus acted.  

Therefore, it is incumbent upon dad and mom to focus on the four faith truths that develop a good soul.  First they must teach that there is only one God Who creates all of us and loves us all.  Second that this God rewards those who seek to do good and must punish those who do evil.  Third this holy God revealed His Triune nature (Father, Son and Holy Ghost).
Finally, that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son into the world not to condemn it but to redeem it through the shedding of His Precious Blood.  If the parents do not know these truths then they will only destroy the eternal life in their child and make it very difficult for that child and themselves to enter God's kingdom.  

How important it is to educate in the faith.  If man and woman marry without a clear understanding of their duties before God then we find that the children become obstinate in their own way.  If the couple realize their duties then they are careful about developing the eternal soul of their children and both their children and themselves will be well on their way to heaven.  May we take seriously this adage of our Lord:  "As you sow thus you shall reap.  A good tree bears good fruit while a bad tree bears bad fruit."  We determine the fruit by what we sow in the lives of our children.
Sow virtue and reap a heavenly reward.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Richard Voigt

P.S. My new chapel will be worked on in this first week of July and I have decided to call it the "Chapel of the Two Hearts"
and I have purchased the Bronze Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart.  I hope to be able to accommodate at least 
twenty souls maybe more.  Thank you for your kind contributions to this project