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LEAV/NO FATHER AND MOTHEr, .

In the Spring issue of La S emilla we peeled back the cover on a design which is fundamentally important for marriage and family. Therifore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife) and thry become one

(see: Gen 2:24; Mt 19:5; Eph 5:31).We emphasized the impor-

flesh

BEFORE MARR/AOE B": DICK HERMAN

tance of this truth in terms of the children's formation. While there are many other aspects of this print ciple of God's wisdom which ., could investigate, this article w\ look at how single men and women" can prepare themselves for a vocation of marriage in light of this Old and New Testament citation. The point has been made that some earlier cultures did not have to deal with the reality of continuer)

on f:ltlfle 2.

Two soccer players on the sidelines await their turn in a round robin tournament organized by a group of dads. See page 10-11.


CoHtillllerJ !mJII Jlflge L

"adolescence". Children passed to adulthood and took on responsibility by getting married and contributing to the economy of the family and community through hunting/ gathering or farming and by raising their children. In our global culture which is increasingly urbanized, mobile and technological, there is a period of intermediate preparation beginning around age fourteen and stretching somewhere from six to eighteen more years. This time of maturation is not optional on many levels- personal, social, psychological, educational, ete. Part of that process of maturation has to focus on preparing for one's personal vocation, which each person receives at baptism. For those who are baptized before reaching adulthood, "leaving father and mother" will apply, in one way or another, to their calling- whether it be to marriage, the consecrated life or to live as a single adult. Let us now consider this question of leaving father and mother in the broader perspective of the way a young person needs to mature into his or her vocation. Sylvia is single, twenty three years old, and lives with her mother and four brothers and sisters. She works a good paying job, and her desire is COHtiHlfeo OHHext Jlage.

2

-La cf'c.HC1Ua

Photos. right: Maria Coral, who is married and has four children, is growing in confidence to mentor single women-- helping them with the skills which lead to considering options, prioritizing, cultivating good friendships and making good decisions. below: Gloria (left), a single woman takes the initiatve to talk with Leon andhis wife; opposite page: Lucy is watching a young girl whose parents are then free to study a course together.

to get married and to raise a family as part of a pastoral team with the man she marries. After participating in the mission here at El Rancho Nazaret, she has seen many examples of married couples and families who are realizing this vocation in different stages of developmentthose recently married, those with young children, others with adolescent children, etc. At the Saturday meetings of single men and women, Sylvia is faithful and enthusiastic. For several months she had also

formed me that she was going to leave her commitment half way through the ten-week course. I posed a few questions and she gave the following information relating to her decision. Her mother COHtiHlfeo OHJlage

4.

been serving at the mission on Sunday mornings, teaching the younger children during family courses. Her mother then told her to stay at home on Sunday mornings to be with the family. She in-

fÂŁFalL,2008

3


Continued jmll! page J.

doesn't go to church, she had fallen away from the Catholic Church some years ago, and for the past four years she professes no religion. The family doesn't have any activities - no regularly scheduled ways that she needs to serve on Sunday mornings. Sundays

o~

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ideal of married disciples? how practically will she serve her mom on Sundays? which of her relationships are most important for her vocation? After thus clarifying that the decision to stay was better, "" she nonetheless caved to SUc.' ,

"(0

\ :'(\ot\S

0

her mother's

pressure

o.~('ort\ and quit coming to the

r u9ge5 rt\\t\9 5 째 rt\S c.~ rt\o"('t\e Se

course.

are not the only time, ~'t\~'f\,,\o.~e\'f c.o.~US'"To grow in healthy 째 autonomy from nor the best time, u\O \\ o:'('t\ 0. ~ for Sylvia to help her ~o oc. ~\ ..1 ~o.rt\\:'f her mother is very . ""0." "t\u mother or even Just. to "0.t\0 v important for ~y via 1nprepbe present to her relatIon'0 aration for her vocation. Such sugally. Her younger brother i s gestions and whims coming from not required to stay home on Sunher mother would likely cause havdays- he also serves the young oc with a husband and family if she were already married and yet didn't boys at El Rancho Nazaret during family courses. Several friends sugknow how to respectfully say "no". gested that Sylvia make a list of Now, at this stage of her life, is pros and cons as a tool to discern Continl1eo on Hext page. with the Holy Spirit what would be the greater good in response to her mother's o~

I ..

desires. offered

They some

Continl1eo /rOil! page

4.

the best time to learn and to go through the growing pains with her mother. THREE BASIC QUESTIONS

The years of adolescence and .single adulthood are a time of growing in one's personal identity- that is, a time to answer three basic questions: 1) will I respond to the calling to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ? 2) am I called to marry or to consecrate my life as a single manl single woman? 3) With whom will I live as spouse or as a consecrated or single person? Modern advertising and the prevailing message of contemporary culture send a message which denies the importance and the urgency of these three questions. In any aspect of the culture which is not specifically aimed at being a culture of life and love - from

leading questions for reflection: where would she best

is she growing in relationships with those who

pop culture to university mo- Photos. above: well -- her shirt pretty much res and mainstream media, the explains this one; opposite page: Donaciano gets on his daughter's level, patiently current flows strongly, pushexplaining ... ing us to aim for each one's own individualistic goals. Leiremoved even if that means killing sure is one of the highest values and is to be invested however the an innocent person in the womb or on their sickbed. The time of beisolated individual decides. Restric-

are living the

tions on one's freedom are to be

prepare for her vocation? how

ZJ.

..La.

JeJHl.Lla.

Continl1eo on page 6.

'ffalL,2008

5


Ctmtilfl/(!{) /rom jltlge

5-

ing single as an adolescent or adult is the most unrestricted and idealized in this culture. One overarching ideal of this culture is that of "having fun", if we define "fun" as those activities and sensations for

perspective of discipleship, the remote training that is needed comes to light. Training for vocation entails healthy and human maturation in areas of life which typically get discarded in early adolescence. For

the sake of my pleasure, which have no responsibilities or the fewest possible responsibilities attached. For example, if we consider what is the goal of dating in modern culture, it is basically to have "fun" in this sense. CALLED

TO DISCIPLESHIP

The three basic questions mentioned above come into play when someone decides to live their life as a response to their vocation, the calling received at Baptism. In terms of the married life, this is not automatically taken for granted. Many in the Church still considef the laity to have an inferior call which can be easily completed through a halfhearted effort, rather than seeing it as their way to follow Jesus into holiness. Every baptized person is called to discipleship - a sincere gift of self aimed at contributing to a communion of persons.

6

In this fÂŁFa.ll,2008

7


COl1til1ueo

The World Meeling 0/ Families Jan 13- 18,

2009

Every three years the Holy Father summons the Catholic families of the world to an encounter of unity, in which thousands of families of the five continents meet together. Theyshare, dialogue, pray and study in depth important aspects of the role of the' Christian family, such as Domestic Church as the base unit of evangelization and society. Seguidores de la Cruz

is making plans to rent tour buses

to sponsor as many married couples from the mission as can arrange to attend in Mexico City. Please pray for our planning, The icon above has an important

(qr the families and the event.

connotation, and its presence in the SiXth"

/Tom ptlge 0.

example: • Ongoing spiritual growth and deepening: praying faithfully each day; learning to discern and make good decisions. • Understanding and formation in relationships: cultivating friendships; seeking acquaintance and advice of an older mentor; the importance of making commitments and also agreements; reconciling relationships when wrongs are committed or agreements broken; learning to be loyal in speech and in keeping commitments. • Serving others beyond immedi-

ate friendships: taking the initiative, serving the poor, identifying and functioning as part of a team; living chastity as a single person and learning the principles Of natural family planning; relating to parents in an adult to adult posture - here would enter our current notion of "leaving one's parents" in order to be established as a fellow adult. • Being responsible financially; keeping a budget; being generous with wealth. An individual who has the same perspective of maturation sketched COl1til1ueo 011ptlge IL

International Families' Congress answers the need for looking at the roots of the whole Christian family: the family of Nazareth. It represents the journey back from Jerusalem, after Jesus was found in the Temple. Saint Joseph carries Jesus on his shoulders, and Jesus is looking at his mother, Virgin Maria. During the journey, Maria delivers the papyrus to him with the words that announce his mission. The text from Isaiah 61:1-2 is written in Greek: "The Lord's spirit is on me, as he has elected me••• ". Saint Joseph's face reflects the features of Yaweh's servant "the face of the Holy Shroud'~ as a preparation symbol for the mission of God's servant who carries the world's sins. (Learn more -- www.wmf2009.com)

8

..La cf'c.HLllia

'£Fa.U,2008

9


With great

creativity

the families

have been taking initiative

toward

growing in relationships and friendships.

The culture of life and love

benefits as we deepen in bonds of communion. 1. The fatbol

(soccer)

weeks.

Winners may be invited to the world cup qualifying round. Many families collaborated

last

summer to take vacation days together.

This gave the oppor-

tunity for some families who otherwise couldn't have afforded a trip. 3.

Four friends

were pulled

aside as they strolled under the trees.

out above has grown beyond merely seeking adolescent diversion. A young adult group which has the same perspective will be more than a social club.

tourney has

been going on for several

2.

aiming at a good outside oneself.

Continueo from page g.

Can you wink one eye?

Such an environment of training is not devoid of joy and diversion - at tjmes it is a lot of fun, provided we .remove the quotation marks and r~focus the goal to be for the sake of communion and the good of others, rather than for my selfish pleasure. This is not "fun" as· an end in itself, but rather flows out of

Ideally, the parents of a young adult would be helping their son or daughter to discover his or her personal vocation and to grow in the skills and relationships which would help them live the (proximate and then the immediate) preparations for their particular vocation. Typically however, single men and women are dealing with a vocations crisis which has affected not only priests and seminarians but everyone in the Church. Their parents too, are more or less knowledgeable, helpful, cooperative, or tolerable of their efforts to be autonomous.

Can you stand on one foot and wink the other eye? 4-5 scale

(opposite

page). A large

gathering

of

families

arose somewhat spontaineously one Sunday afternoon; activities involving young and old; picnic baskets gathered served as one buffet .

and

This biblical principle of leaving father and mother is an integral part of each Christian's personal voca"' tion, and therefore of a culture of life and love. The more you and I understand and help adolescents and young adults (and others as well) to grasp and to live it, the healthier and more fruitful will be the Church .

•••

10

..La

de.HU.ll.a

~a.ll,2008

11

,


Helen Johnson P.O. Box 1443 Scott LA 70583-1443

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La Semilla - Fall 2008  

Quarterly newsletter

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