The perennial question of how to choose between good and evil and how to find happiness is the subject of a message to families by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).
The message, “Parents, will your children be happy?”, was just published to mark the 20th anniversary of COLF and also coincides with the Synod on the Family just concluded in Rome.
Humans are capable of both the best and the worst, the message noted. It is the task of parents to train the men and women of tomorrow so they are able to choose that which is good, beautiful, right, and true.
The message spoke of the importance of natural law and conscience and of listening to God. We are often tempted to ignore God’s voice in our conscience, COLF observed, but God knows what is good for us.
The influence of individualism in today’s culture has led many people to declare that they are capable of determining for themselves what is right and wrong and everything is seen as relative and subjective.
Nevertheless, the message insisted that: “To be free is to obey God who speaks to us deep in our conscience.”
There is a contradiction, however, COLF commented, in that while an aggressive secularism insists on relativism and freedom of the individual, at the same time it seeks to restrict the freedom of believers to act according to their conscience when it comes to matters such as abortion or euthanasia.
“It is no surprise then that the Church, through the voice of successive popes over the last 40 years, is calling all the baptized to take up the challenge of proclaiming the Gospel in today’s world thanks to a profound missionary conversion,” said the message.
The message then went on to discuss the important role parents have in forming the conscience of their children, so that as they become older they can be responsible for their own free choices.
Part of this preparation involves a solid formation in the virtues, particularly the cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance.
In addition to their own efforts parents also have the support of the Holy Spirit and the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist to help their children develop their conscience and to recover from any failures.
“When a conscience starts to listen to the Holy Spirit, the fact that God’s project is a project of love becomes increasingly clear,” the message concluded.
Message text: http://www.colf.ca/images/pubs-downloads/FAM-023-E-.pdf