December 29, 2013
is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen
2:18) God made the difference between man and woman a complementarity. Man and
woman need each other. In a deeper sense, every human person needs a community,
because none of us can obtain for him or herself what is needed to attain human
perfection and happiness. Differences among us make for the good of the
community, because it is a difference of complementarity, and it is a
difference established by God for our sake.
there is another way to see “difference” which is not helpful. Today that which
is good for one person can be different from what is good for another. Values
are different, but not with a difference of complementarity, but with a
difference of opposition. Values regarding family, life, contraception, are
opposed. This is a problem, because when people in the same community fight for
their rights and these rights are opposed, there is conflict. There is no
peace, there is persecution, the stronger is the winner and the weak must lose
his or her rights.
many people think that difference is good because it is an exercise of your
subjectivity. There is difference not because God establish it, but because “I
say what is good for me”. “I establish what is true for me,” they say, “and if
you don’t like it, that’s too bad.” At the root of this there is pride. Man
does not want to accept that he is not God, that he needs God, that he is
limited, that he cannot give himself happiness, that he cannot forgive himself,
and he cannot give himself life.
salvation is in humility. Man needs to recognize that his happiness lies in the
difference, but in the difference established by God. Man and woman need to
recognize that their happiness lies in the other. Our perfection comes from our
neighbour, from the other fellow men and women and from the Absolute Other,
baby cannot feed itself. A child cannot teach itself. A young person cannot be
happy without friends. A man or a woman cannot be happy without love. Even when
you don’t marry a person, to love and to be loved is essential to happiness. We
cannot live without love, and most of all, we cannot live without the love of
God. “You made us for you, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest
in you” (Saint Augustine).
want to apply this “principle of difference” to a particular aspect of family
life, and it is the relationship between parents and children of school age. There
is a moment in the life of our children in which they realize that they are
free, that they can think, and they are offered for the first time the possibility
of self-determination: “Why must I do what my parents say?” “Why do I have to
tell my parents this or that?” “I know what is good for me, I don’t need to
tell them or to check with them”.
will speak first to the children: If you don’t talk to your parents about
certain things that happen at school or with friends, you may negatively affect
your entire life. You may finish in a bad relationship, you may fall into some
addiction, you may be involved without realizing it in acts of delinquency, you may finish up in jail. Usually, when you realize that
there is something wrong it is too late to get out. Talk to your parents. You
don’t lose anything. Your friends don’t know what you say to your parents.
young people, you have discovered the power of your mind and your freedom. You
need to realize that freedom is a gift that can be misused. Be responsible. To
be free does not mean that you are omnipotent: we are all weak, and you are
weaker than adults, because you have not fought much yet. To be intelligent
does not mean that you know everything. We all are ignorant in some respect,
and you have less experience than adults. If you are intelligent, ask those who
know more than you. And don’t think that I say this to disparage you, I say
this because you are our hope, and I know how much power there is in your
hearts to change our world.
to the parents. These days, because of the demands of the economy and other
reasons, sometimes both parents need to work. Both are tired at night. You know
that this is the only time that your children can talk to you. Welcome them if
they want to talk, and if they don’t, ask them, question them, don’t let them
feel that you are not interested. I am so happy to see how parents enjoy a
certain gift, especially mothers, to detect when there is something wrong. Talk
to your children, this is the best way to ensure that they will be good women
and good men.
the Lord make us open to the other. Open to listen,
open to obey, open to love, open to welcome life, open to welcome our neighbours and open to welcome the love of Jesus in our
lives. May the Holy Virgin Mary, open to the action of the Holy Spirit,
intercede for our families. Amen. –Fr.