The season of autumn is about at its peak. This is my favorite season. I have loved it since I was a boy. Cross Country season was always in the fall. We would have many runs through the woods, which were lit up with color. I can still remember the crunch of the leaves under my feet. The cold crisp air. For me it was perfect. Others do not like autumn because it reminds them too much that winter is near. They prefer the spring with its new life. Buds on the trees. Colorful flowers popping up all around. Still others prefer the summer. They can’t wait until we have those sunny days and warm nights. For them this season is best because it is a time for family get-togethers and barbeques. It is also a time to relax and go on vacation. They cannot think of anything better than summer weekends at the Jersey Shore. And, finally there are those brave souls who are in love with winter. While some dread the snow, others rejoice as they see the white stuff begin to fall. These people enjoy being out in the cold skiing or ice skating. Or, just sitting at the window watching it snow with a cup of hot chocolate. Truly, there are as many different views as there are people.
We must not divorce God from any aspect of our existence. For he is the Omniscient One who has ordered all things to reveal his goodness. The Seasons of the year are a reflection of the “seasons” of our life. There is within each person’s life the springtimes. The birth of a child is always a time for rejoicing. It shows us God’s creativeness and blessing upon the human race. As we grow into adulthood these are often times of new beginnings and hope for the future. The summer of our life is seen in those times when we have reached our peak and share so much in God’s creative power. Yes, there are also in this season the sweltering days, which may try us.
The last few weeks at the Masses, particularly the 11:00 am and the 12:30 pm, we did a thing called the Promise Mass—trying to focus the minds and hearts of the parents and children—teachers and staff—on the great task of teaching our children what it means to be a Catholic. First of all, The Catholic Church has always taught that every school—and that includes every public school stands always in loco parentis—in place of the parents. The school or educational program—never replaces the parents and never teaches anything that is contrary to the parents’ beliefs or values. The school—or program—is there only to support the parents. Home is primary. What the children learn at home—even before they are old enough to go to school—will last them a lifetime. They will never forget what their mothers and fathers taught them when they were so little—and that includes going to Mass.
I say this now at all my baptisms. I tell the parents and godparents and grandparents that they must teach their children all their prayers and all the faith and all the family traditions. I tell them they must teach the rosary, the sign of the cross. They must go to Mass every Sunday, go to confession often. If the parents are not married—which is more and more common these days—I tell them—point blank—get married in Church and start raising a Catholic family because that will be the only thing that will save them as the years go on.
A world event which has gained a great deal of attention in the last few weeks is the Synod on the Family. Much speculation and even controversy has come from this. One problem with the reporting on such events is that much of the media has little or no knowledge of how the Church functions on a day-to-day basis.
The word synod is defined as “a coming together.” There are many different types of synods from the diocesan level to the universal level. Of course, this Synod on the Family is at the universal level. Its function is to offer counsel to the pope and the curia on how to handle a specific aspect of the faith or Catholic life. Continue Reading…