Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Forgiveness

It is true that someone made me suffer or that they hurt me or my feelings, and it is true that I am patient and flexible, but do I truly forgive and forget??? Our culture teaches us revenge, indifference or avoidance, not forgiveness; you see it in movies, TV, everywhere, but is not right to live in a payback mode, it makes no sense and it is exhausting. 

When you forgive, you are not accepting evil or ignoring it, you are understanding that such person has done you harm, but it is not up to you to judge his or her intentions. It could have been a misunderstanding, lack of communication, it could have even been done with good intentions.

Evil does not come from external circumstances, it comes from the way we react to those circumstances.  If evil enters our heart with hate, resentment or anger it is because we have an emptiness in our hearts, a lack of hope and love. If you live your life focusing on doing good to others, you may suffer when others hurt you, but you will not hate.

When you forgive, you set yourself free from resentment and contempt; when you hate someone that hurt you, you keep thinking of that person all the time, you are chained, enslaved to him or her. When you make peace with him or her, you set yourself free!  You will be amazed of the great feeling that comes from forgiving. It is heroically hard for the other person to get in front of you and ask for forgiveness and it is heroically hard to truly forgive.

When we see our children practicing the act of asking for forgiveness and forgiving, we should reward them because it is a truly important virtue to learn. As life gets more and more complicated, they will have to practice forgiveness regularly to maintain healthy relationships and to become great adults.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Modesty - protect your family!

A person’s dignity depends upon living in a manner that will achieve the purpose for which he was created, to be sons and daughters of God.

“Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity”[1].

“Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It is discreet”[2].

"Modesty of the feelings as well as of the body: The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening in them respect for the human person.
A modest person recognizes the value of his own privacy and respects that of others. He protects his privacy from the gaze of others."[3]
From these definitions we can see that there are four areas in which we have to consciously work to live the virtue of modesty:
1-Custody of the eyes. Avoid permanent damage that can be done to you and your kids forever: be mindful of what is seen on TV and the Internet. 
2-Manner of speaking. With discretion and charity. Not revealing all the information you have to everybody, especially your private family matters. Seeking guidance from someone you trust.
3-Manner of dress. With decency, elegant, beautiful.
4-Manner of acting.  Motions, walking, gesturing, touching, sitting, bending to pick up something from the floor, with grace and elegance.

Our home is not only our castle, but also a place of privacy where we retreat to reflect, to relax, to be ourselves. Take good care of it. Protect your family!

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, #25221
[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church #2522

[3] Raise Happy Children, Teach Them Joy