This weekend (24/25 Jan) 80 of our forms 4 and 5 students (from RCC and SJC) are attending a 2-day formation on the THEOLOGY OF THE BODY (TOB) at SJC Community Hall. TOB is the topic of a series of 129 lectures given by the late Pope John Paul II between 5 September, 1979 and 28 November, 1984.
IS THERE A CATHOLIC WAY TO PARENT?
“Is there an approved list of parenting methods the Church requires that we use for child rearing?” “Certainly not!”
Does the Church tell parents exactly how many activities to let their kids participate in, or what discipline methods to choose, or how much time parents and kids need together? Of course not.
The Church never says to parents, “Parent this way.” Instead, the Church does say, As Catholic parents, you may have a unique vision of family life, and please keep that vision in mind when making decisions about parenting ,so, that vision may be fulfilled and you can be the witness the Church calls you to be.
In fact, the parenting methods we choose are actually a kind-of catechism. The way we interact with our children – even more than what we say to them – teaches them how to think about relationship, life, faith, priorities, and morality.
God gives moms and dads bodies so they can hug and hold and carry and cuddle their children so that their children can feel God’s immense love in real and tangible ways. Our children first encounter the reality of God’s love through our loving touch. The more physical we are with our kids, the more they develop the capacity to feel love and be loving.
TOB teaches that God gave us our bodies so that we could express love for one another. It isn’t enough to have warm feelings for someone. To be truly meaningful, love must be expressed with our body and experienced by another body through words, and acts of service, presence, and affection. The more bodily an expression of love is, the more senses it uses to communicate itself, the more intimate that expression of love is.
The entire point of the Gospel is loving, intimate, eternal union with God and the Communion of Saints. Think of intimacy as a unit of measure for love. TOB tells us that families are to be “Schools of Love” that help us experience, as much aspossible, the ocean of love God has for us. Catholic families are encouraged to choose those styles of relating, organising their priorities, and disciplining their children that foster the deepest level of intimacy possible.