Thursday, April 27, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 270

270.  It is important that discipline not lead to discouragement, but be instead a stimulus to further progress.  How can discipline be best interiorized?  How do we ensure that discipline is a constructive limit placed on a child's actions and not a barrier standing in the way of his or her growth?  A balance has to be found between two equally harmful extremes.  One would be to try to make everything revolve around the child's desires; such children grow up with a sense of their rights but not their responsibilities.  The other would be to deprive the child of an awareness of his or her dignity, personal identity and rights; such children end up overwhelmed by their duties and a need to carry out other people's wishes.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 269

269.  Correction is also an incentive whenever children's efforts are appreciated and acknowledged, and they sense their parents' constant, patient trust.  Children who are lovingly corrected feel cared for; they perceive that they are individuals whose potential is recognized.  This does not require parents to be perfect, but to be able humbly to acknowledge their own limitations and make efforts to improve.  Still, one of the things children need to learn from their parents is not to get carried away by anger.  A child who does something wrong must be corrected, but never treated as an enemy or an object on which to take out one's own frustrations.  Adults also need to realize that some kinds of misbehaviour have to do with the frailty and limitations typical of youth.  An attitude constantly prone to punishment would be harmful and not help children to realize that some actions are more serious than others.  It would lead to discouragement and resentment:  "Parents, do not provoke your children" (Eph 6:4; cf. Col 3:21).


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 268

The Value of Correction as an Incentive

268.  It is also essential to help children and our adolescents to realize that misbehaviour has consequences.  They need to be encouraged to put themselves in other people's shoes and to acknowledge the hurt they have caused.  Some punishments - those for aggressive, antisocial conduct - can partially serve this purpose.  It is important to train children firmly to ask forgiveness and to repair the harm done to others.  As the educational process bears fruit in the growth of personal freedom, children come to appreciate that it was good to grow up in a family and even to put up with the demand that every process of formation makes.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 267

267.  Freedom is something magnificent, yet it can also be dissipated and lost.  Moral education has to do with cultivating freedom through ideas, incentives, practical applications, stimuli, rewards, examples, models, symbols, reflections, encouragement, dialogue and a constant rethinking of our way of doing things; all these can help develop those stable interior principles that lead us spontaneously to do good.  Virtue is a conviction that has become a steadfast inner principle of operation.  The virtuous life thus builds, strengthens and shapes freedom, lest we become slaves of dehumanizing and antisocial inclinations.  For human dignity itself demands that each of us "act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within".293

293  Second Vatican  Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 17.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 266

266.  Good habits need to be developed.  Even childhood habits can help to translate important interiorized values into sound and steady ways of acting.  A person may be sociable and open to others, but if over a long period of time he has not been trained by his elders to say "Please", "Thank You", and "Sorry", his good interior disposition will not easily come to the fore.  The strengthening of the will and the repetition of specific actions are the building blocks of moral conduct; without the conscious, free and valued repetition of certain patterns of good behaviour, moral education does not take place.  Mere desire, or an attraction to a certain value, is not enough to instil a virtue in the absence of those properly motivated acts.