Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Do Good Parents Produce Good Children?

Do good mothers and fathers produce good children? Yes and no.
  Some children who have gone astray came from very good families. I remember reading about Franklin Graham, one of the sons of the famous Rev. Bill Graham. He rebelled against his good and decent parents and went astray for some time. He later repented, turned back to God, and is now the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
  Then there are some children whose parents were absent or neglectful who turned out to be good, responsible citizens. Jim Daly, President of the Focus On the Family ministry, grew up in foster homes. Dr. Ben Carson grew up poor, in a single parent home, but became a renowned neurosurgeon due to the love and nurturing of his mother and the grace of God.
  So I think that although it's more likely that good mothers and fathers will  produce good children, it's not guaranteed.  After all, we are all created by our Heavenly Father, who is perfect in every way, and yet we rebel against Him and His Will for us.
  People compliment parents when they have polite, well-behaved children, and rightly so. But it's good to remember that when children go astray, it's not necessarily the fault of their parents. And children can't blame their poor upbringing for the problems in their lives. We all have been given the gift of free will and with God's grace can become good, responsible adults despite our upbringing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Answer to the Problem of Terrorism

People hope and pray for peace in the world. The Sandra Bullock movie "Miss Congeniality" poked fun at the Miss America pageant contestants always saying what they most wanted was "world peace." But as we see day after day in the news reports, our world is far from peaceful.
  The scourge of terrorism throughout the world has caused people to focus even more on the problem of evil in our world. Most people look to our governments to protect us and solve the problem. But governments don't have the answer because it's a spiritual problem. The remedy for terrorism in the world is for people to turn back to God, return to church and pray for peace.
  Yes, we need to disarm and defeat those who commit these heinous acts against innocent men, women and children. But that has to be combined with turning back to God.
  It's not that God is punishing us for our lack of faith by allowing terrorism to reign. It's that the lack of faith throughout the world has removed us from God's blessing and protection. That fact was aptly illustrated by the author Jonathan Cahn in his riveting book The Harbinger where he showed how the Islamic terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 was the result of so many Americans turning away from faith in God.
  The answer to the problem of terrorism is we have to fight for peace, work for peace, but most of all turn back to God and pray for peace. May all our churches be filled, as they were after 9-11 in the U.S., not just after a terrorist attack but each and every day.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Wisdom of Fr. Benedict Groeschel

The following is one of my favorite teachings from Fr. Benedict Groeschel and very appropriate after celebrating Pentecost:
 
“Realize more and more that the spiritual life is essentially the work of the Holy Spirit.
Our participation, although it may appear to be a very active struggle to do good—to ‘press on,’ in the words of St. Paul—is ultimately a cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
Our essential task is not to do things for God, but rather not to resist God’s trying to do good things for us.
Holiness is his work. Our task is to avoid resisting Him.
Many people waste a great deal of time and effort doing what they want on the spiritual road instead of letting the Holy Spirit lead:  they must do this, they must be there, they must learn some other things.
This is not really following Christ; it is walking beside Him and making suggestions.”
 
Fr. Benedict Groeschel
Priest, psychology professor, speaker, writer, servant of the poor