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Bishop's Message/Blog

Parents must daily consider the example of faith they give their children

How do Catholic families stay focused on Christ and keep up the values of family life? They should look up to the Holy Family of Nazareth. The Holy Family also had its own moments of challenge, troubles, disappointments as well as sadness and temptation, but they were able to stand firm because of faith in God, love of one another and willingness to do the right thing. Mary and Joseph taught Jesus primarily by their example: In His Parents He came to know the full beauty of faith, of love for God and for His Law, as well as the demands of justice, which is totally fulfilled in love (cf. Rom 13:10).

He learnt from them that it is necessary, first of all, to do God’s will, and that the spiritual bond is worth more than the bond of kinship. Parents must daily consider the example of faith they give to their children. Does daily prayer occur in their homes? How can children be expected to know the Lord, unless introduced to them by their parents? This, of course, requires that parents be of deep faith and prayer, looking always to the example of Joseph and Mary. Let me conclude this sermon by quoting Dorothy Law Nolte who says:

If children live in criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn generosity. If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with fair ness, they learn justice. If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

• Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos



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