Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
September 30, 2007
It’s All In The BalanceIn speaking to different parents in the parish, I often get varying opinions, not to mention polarized views, on the approach we take to Christian Formation. When new families call to find out about our program, many parents get excited about the idea that parents are now asked to attend class along with their children in grades 4 - 10. They admit that their knowledge of faith matters is quite flimsy and they look forward to refreshing their knowledge base.
Others, though they attempt to disguise their true feelings, question the reason for having to join in the sessions. The familiar, “Oh!” tells me that they are not too keen about the idea of having to attend a two hour session once a month. With a little explanation however, they often come around to understanding that this is meant for their best interest. But why and how is this in the best interest of the parents or any other adult who chooses to attend the Generations of Faith classes. Perhaps this is a good time to look at our Spiritual Development.
Many of us have studied human development when in college. There are several theories of development, many of which converge at various points. The main point of all theories is that we, as humans, are created to develop according to both nature and nurture in order to live a happy and fruitful life in society. What does all of this have to do with our Faith? The simple answer is - Everything. We cannot allow our Faith Development to be avoided and still expect to live a happy and well balanced life. Let’s take a look at how it works in our own lives.
Our Faith development follows the same markings as other developmental stages. It differs from the physical in that it doesn’t happen naturally, whether or not we are aware or care. We are given a free will. Consequently, we must give our consent and take part in the process.
When we are young, our faith is nurtured by our parents, by their example and their persistence in leading us to religion classes and weekend liturgies. This follows the other aspects of development where our parents bring us to school and encourage us to learn what is needed for our adult lives. This stage is the simple stage. We simply follow the leader and do what we need to do. We are young and we believe everything people tell us. This happens in school, at home and in church.
As we mature and reach our teen years, things change. We have grown to be more independent thinkers. We become aware of the world around us as opposed to the smaller school, neighborhood community of previous years. We also become more aware of adult deception and evil in our world. We begin to question what adults tell us. We have the need to think for ourselves. The same happens with our faith. Parents must understand, that, although teens have the need to begin the separation process, it doesn’t mean that they are ready to be on their own at that very moment.
As adults we should be able to be mature, responsible participants in the life of the church. We are no longer trying to get away with whatever we can. We have passed the stage of seeking independence. We know that we are all made to live together in peace and harmony, willing to forgive one another and to help one another when in need. We realize that God is deserving of our worship. Happiness is our goal and we are willing to work toward this goal. Growth is never ending and we are aware of this fact. We cannot allow ourselves to be unbalanced, or can we?
. Lorette P. Nault