From Plain Talks on Marriage, Rev. Fulgence Meyer, 1929
The Important Choice
The point of the choice of their state of life, or of their vocation, on the part of their children must be of great concern to parents, and should always enlist their keen interest, sympathetic guidance and substantial help.
Whilst the children are and should remain free in the choice of a vocation, the counsel and advice of the parents can be of great assistance to them.
But the parents must not grow dictatorial and narrow in the matter, nor allow themselves to be swayed by some blind prejudice or selfish leaning. Their exclusive aim must be the child’s own best interests.
Perhaps your sons or daughters want to consecrate themselves to God in the priesthood or the Religious life. If they exhibit any such tendencies, foster and nurse them prudently and fondly, thanking God for this great grace the while.
God can hardly confer a greater distinction upon a family than by calling one or more of its children to His exclusive service, either in His sanctuary as priests and ministers of the divine mysteries, or as friars, brothers, monks or nuns to pursue His works of religion, education and charity.
The opinion has been expressed—although it has never been authoritatively endorsed by the Church—that if a family gives a child to God in the way just mentioned, the entire family goes to heaven.
The Lord Is Generous
It would be imprudent to stress this mere opinion too far, but the gospel tells us that some of the relatives of the apostles got to be very close to our Savior; and they were no doubt drawn to Him through the apostles.
The Lord is as generous today as He was then. And the faith has been preserved in many a Catholic family, and in every member of it, mainly through the consecration of one of the children to God’s special service.
Hard as it may be for parents to surrender a child to God in this manner—He usually asks the best one—the pain of separation will be compensated for, not only by an eternal reward, but also by a hundredfold reward in this life, in the shape of the many joys and consolations coming to them directly or indirectly from this child.
From none of their children who remain with them and get married by and by, do they ordinarily derive the same comfort, even on earth.
God is good to those who love Him. Whereas, if parents thwart the high designs of a priestly or Religious vocation which God has upon their children, they may seriously incur His displeasure, and because of the various misfortunes resulting to them and their children, they may live bitterly to rue their selfishness and stubbornness.
On the other hand no prudent parent will attempt to influence a child unduly to become a priest or Religious in the absence of a call from on high. This would be exposing the child to the risk of serious unhappiness and spiritual disaster.
Question: If the home is such a powerful factor in the future of the children of a nation, why are such powerful groups in the nation arrayed against the home?
Answer: Precisely because the home is powerful. If it were not an important institution, the enemies of God and of man would leave it alone. Because the people who control the home control the future, because parents are the first representatives of God on earth, because within the home is the hope of morality . . . . for these reasons the men who wish to control the future, who hate God, and who would for their own selfish purposes wipe out morality attack the home openly or subtly.
-Fr. Daniel A. Lord, S.J.. Questions People Ask About Their Children, 1950’s
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