Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Poll: "Holy Families Just Don't Happen" Teaching

As I've mentioned before, I think the Audio Sancto Sermons Series is a tremendous resource for the Catholic community. The recorded homilies are some of the best Biblical and doctrinal teachings I have ever heard. (And I've heard a great deal. I'm the type who would buy entire teaching series on cassette tapes from non-Catholic churches and play them in my car, "boombox", or on a Sony Walkman.)

So, my father and I recently listened to the teaching, "Holy Families Just Don't Happen." We had a very lively discussion afterward. I won't reveal our opinions, but instead, would like your opinion. Please listen to the recording and after, vote in the poll that is in the sidebar at the top of the page. We're also interested in your comments, so please use the combox for this entry as the place to share your thoughts.

There's a free lunch riding on this. We both are laughing about this but are very curious about what others think about the message.

The recording runs about 30 minutes. You can subscribe to Audio Sancto through iTunes and download these recordings to an iPod, iPhone or MP3 player. I downloaded the entire archive PLUS this year's recordings. 338 homilies! Hot dog! This will be my #1 choice of listening fare for my trips both to and from Cincinnati, and beyond!

Here is the link to the audio file:

Holy Families Don't Just Happen

Thanks! We'll be counting the first 100 votes, if we can get that many!


X said...

Wow! That was incredible! However, I do not agree 100% with this presentation. I think the dating scenario they present is impossible to achieve.

And since I don't can fruit and vegetables is my marriage doomed?! I do agree both parties need to know how to cook. My stepson's wife and my stepdaughter do not know how to cook and when the "boys" come home from work they cook supper.

I find this particularly wrong in the case of my stepson as his wife does not work outside the home. He is expected to put in a full day at work, cook supper and then he helps her put the 2 kids to bed. Hello?! Thanks Women's Lib - thanks for nothing.

Also the priest who presents this talk seemed to imply there are only 2 vocations - priesthood/religious life or marriage. Some people are not called to either - they are called to be single and they need to be supported and encouraged in this call.

I would say that I agree 95% with the material presented but certainly not 100%. And his whole take on premarital kissing, while it does have some merit, sounds like one of the Duggar boys talking....

Oh - and not phoning after 10 PM -'s not 1952 anymore.

I think we have to give our children the tools to stay strong in the face of temptation. Faithful in little, faithful in much...Not kissing before marriage and not being alone with your beloved before marriage and not phoning after 10 - to me that clouding the bigger issues.

Just my .02 cents... :o)

Unknown said...

This was an excellent homily, but I too can not agree with the whole thing. I do agree holy families require work. I am the product of a not so very holy family and I have the scars to prove it. The fact that I have returned to my faith at all is all God's grace.
That being said I do think some of Father's rules and tips were a bit unrealistic. I actually agree with a lot of what Angela commented on. I definitely didn't get the no phone after 10pm thing. His message also depends upon how young these young people are. Kids in early teens should be out in groups. People in their 20's should be able to handle a date where they may be alone. What our young people need to hear about is learning self control. There are some great chastity speakers out there today who take Father's message and update it without throwing the basics of it out.
I too was a bit mystified as to why he didn't bring up the vocation of living single.
Thanks for the link to the audio all in all it was a good homily-maybe just a tad impractical. I can see why you and dad had a lively discussion afterwards.

dougeller said...

I have to agree with the previous two comments. In my former life as a fundamentalist Baptist we called an overabundance of well intended but impractical rules "legalism". The problem is children who have too many rules internalize the rules themselves instead of the principles behind them. Believe me, I know. Kids only have so much bandwidth and, if they can avoid trouble by just following rules without having to think, they will. It's easier. The result is that they develop no discernment of their own and, when out from under the rules, they don't always know what to do.

I grew up with kids who were never allowed on dates without a chaperon right up through college. They didn't do anything wrong because the couldn't, not because they wanted to remain pure. Their parents didn't bother to do much reinforcement of the need for purity because they didn't have to. The chaperon kept their kids safe and out of trouble. I watched a LOT of those kids go completely off the deep end when they got out from under the rules and on their own.

I think they would have been much better served by solid Catholic formation combined with more reasonable rules.

Jenny said...

I love the sermon and have listened to it three times since I found it a month ago. Once by myself, once with my three daughters (10, 9, 7) and the last night with the whole family on the way home from a Superbowl party. My daughters told me after they heard it the first time, that we should listen to it as they continue to grow as reminders. That sermon has come on the heels of the realization that one of their cousins; baptized, raised, and educated in the Catholic schools, will be married next month outside of the Church. They realize the importance of a sacramental marrige and all the obstacles the world throws at us to keep us from getting there.

X said...

Douglas wrote, "The problem is children who have too many rules internalize the rules themselves instead of the principles behind them."

You hit the nail right on the head! That is why I think Theology of the Body is one of the best things that ever happened to the Catholic church. It's not just about saying "no", it's about understanding WHY we say no.

Jenny said...

But sometimes we cannot understand the WHY, and sometimes it is not for us to understand the WHY. And whether we understand the WHY, that is irrelevent, it does not change the teachings of the Church. That is why Jesus left us Holy Mother Church. We are Her your children always understand the WHY or do they need to always know the WHY?

X said...

Jenny, some things are a mystery - the Trinity, Transubstantiation, etc. Some things are not - like what kissing can lead to. That's what I was referring to.

Jenny said...

The priest does give the reason for this instruction. 1. The couple can go to the altar without ever having offended God and 2. If they do not make it to the altar, they will have never offended each other. We all know what kissing can lead to, we (being older and wiser)also know our very weak human nature. Why allow children to tempt the matter? We all think we are in control of our senses, yet many of us fall because of our pride. P.S.~(By us, I mean me. I do not include the sins of anyone else because I do not know you.)
P.P.S.~ (since tone cannot be expressed in a comment box, my tone is very friendly by the way. Like we're chatting around some hot chocolate, trying to figure out the best way to get ourselves and our families to Heaven.)

*Linda Pinda* said...

I love the article/homily.

As a life-long Catholic (who did not always practice my faith), and as the mother of 5 children (two of whom are 20), I know this teaching to be truth.

Now... that said, yes... some of the guidelines/recommendations for courting are difficult and/or unrealistic in the world we live in. But they are still worthy goals.

I have learned through my own experiences, first as the child, now as the parent... and from witnessing many years of varied parenting ideals, that the higher we maintain the goal level for our children, the better they will fair. Yes... we are all weak. We all make mistakes. But shame on the parent who lowers the bar to sinfullness for their child. The lower our expectations and teachings, the lower the outcome will be.

I thank God every day that I was able to climb out of the pit that was dug for me by well-meaning parents.

My first "teaching" on sexual morality was that "Good girls don't". Well... golly... all the images I saw told me that good girls were BORING, so who would want "that" label???

As time went on, the "lessons" seemed to confirm that my goal wasn't to be "good", but informed, educated.... WORLDLY!!!

No one ever taught me the beauty, dignity, and sanctity of my sexuality. I wish someone had not just said "you can go to hell", but would have shared with me about the precious place virgins hold in God's kingdom, etc.

I never understood that virtue, in and of itself, is a goal worth working at... fighting for. I always thought things were about the "results", but I know now that our practice of virtue has redemptive power we may never see in this world.

I must say, that my own adult children are in the midst of this struggle. My son is "wandering". He's a littly "hippy-ish" and calls it seeking, but I suspect he's doing a little more hiding than seeking, as he claims to still believe the teachings of the church, but is choosing to live outside of some of them. My daughter is struggling very hard with living in holiness amidst a very liberal agenda at her college. She is finding it sometimes painful to live in the world, but not be "of" it. It's ironic that her "friends" have a harder time accepting her, than she does loving and accepting them.

She recently broke up with a young man who did not understand why she wanted to wait until marriage to be intimate. I am really proud of her.

It's hard to witness your children suffering persecution for righteousness' sake, but I would rather die than sell their souls for popularity or comfort.

Long story short... I believe that this priest's teaching is the ultimate goal to reach for.

We do have to remember that Catholicism is multi-dimensional, and when those we love faulter, we must practice mercy and forgiveness as passionately as we do our fevor for the truths of the faith.

My FAVORITE quote on this subject? When I was dating the boy who would become my husband, I often tried to lure him into deeper intimacy. One evening I asked him "Don't you love me enough to"? He answered... "I love you enough NOT to".

He remains my knight in shining armor all these 25+ years later.

PS... Mary-Rose... We just found out we are expecting another baby!!! Please keep us in your prayers.