Prayer: An Appointment With God Part 2

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Now that you have a place set aside for prayer, a time for your appointment, and you know whom you are meeting, let’s talk about what to do next. Remember, Jesus is our model for prayer, and he taught us to pray saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” So let’s take the Our Father step by step to walk us through our prayer time.

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Moon at her Feet

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These last few days have seen some major media attention on the full lunar eclipse of the sun which passed through 10 different US states in the space of 90 minutes. An eclipse is always an impressive thing. One commentator in the US who witnessed it said it was "a religious experience."

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In Sickness and in Health: There is Always Good

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A dear friend of mine from college passed away in April after a year-long battle with appendiceal cancer. Well, it started last February when they found out she had cancer. She was told she was in remission this past September, but by December the cancer was stage IV and growing fast. She went to be with the Lord on April 6, 2017. She was only 34.

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Marriage Advice from the Trenches

Marriage Advice from the Trenches

When I stood at the altar 7 years ago, I could have never imagined what would happen in the next 7 years: mother to 4, several job changes, a growing business, a move, and some emotional issues that I’ve had to work through. All I knew is that I loved my husband and we would be starting an adventure together.
 

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Are You Opposed To Fertility Or Open To Life?

Are You Opposed To Fertility Or Open To Life?

In the marriage prep course, some couples try to tell us that our culture is not opposed to babies. And I think to myself, “Oh yea, then why do I get all the weird stares with a pregnant belly and 3 small kids in tow? It’s a regular thing for cashiers and strangers to tell me they don’t know how I do it.”

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Not taking ourselves too seriously is … a serious business!

Not taking ourselves too seriously is … a serious business!

If you’ve ever had to deal with a child who is devastated and in tears because of a disappointment or setback they have had to suffer, you know how hard it can be not to find it even slightly amusing, or be overwhelmingly tempted to patronise and pretend that the whole thing really isn’t that important and will blow over. 

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Loving Unconditionally

Loving Unconditionally

When we had our first child, I had no idea how to be a parent and I am sure that echoes and resonates with many others who started out on this fascinating but rather frightening adventure that is being a parent...


... and obviously in my case being a father. However, it’s not just about being a good parent but being a good, dedicated, intentional Catholic parent raising Catholic children and that’s a whole different ball game as I am discovering day in day out with a 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter! Sure  I have bit of theology I can draw wisdom from, and some pastoral experience of supporting others that I can dredge my memory bank for when I need it.  But if I’m honest raising children continues to baffle me. Is there a method to becoming a good parent? I don’t think so because parenting isn’t like creating a perfect assembly line product— each child is different. And thank God they are for that’s what reminds me that we’re all unique, made in His image and likeness and that my children (though they share mine and my wife’s traits, our genes, my looks - God help them - though they are blessed with hers) are destined for eternity with Him and not to be my/our projects.      

Although I don’t follow any parenting approach in particular, there are helpful hints to be found in the way that God parents us. I figure if anyone knows how it’s done, it’s God. These lessons aren’t limited to parents with strong faith though — they’re just grounded in common sense advice from child-raising experts.
Our family hasn’t endured an adolescent (can’t abide the word ‘teenager’) yet, so we’re not in the slamming doors phase where the kids swear they’ll never forgive me for not letting them go to the party/disco whatever, but even our youngest can test my ability to patiently love her. Nevertheless it can be tough even now (no matter how cute they can be) to not return their naughty behavior by withdrawing my affection (though I’m a big softy really and I don’t withhold it for long – barely a few seconds a times!)

As a parent, it’s natural to want to reward good behavior with affection because it might promote good behavior in the future, but one expert. Alfie Kohn, writes that it is far better to love children, “for who they are, not for what they do.” He goes on to list all sorts of subsequent issues that children develop when their parents love is conditional. When it comes to God’s parenting example, it is heartening that he never gives up on me.

Another emphasizes unconditional acceptance and patience, saying; “God loves first, even when love is not returned.” My children might be ungrateful at times and fall short of my expectations, as they struggle to individuate and  find their place in the world, but no matter what, my job in my own imperfect fatherly way is to love them as patiently as possible because that’s the way God the Father loves each of us and as the venerable Fulton Sheen said: “Patience is power.”   

Edmund Adamus

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