Amoris Laetitia 16: Raising Children

amoris laetitia memeI don’t know how the rearing of children adjusted to the move from house churches to the basilicas of late antiquity. The West has never been more child-focused than it is today, yet some Christians seem to struggle with matching society’s efforts in indoctrination.

In this paragraph, Pope Francis draws on the Old Testament tradition to remind us that Passover, at the center of Jewish identity, was a locus for the formatino of children:

16. The Bible also presents the family as the place where children are brought up in the faith. This is evident from the description of the Passover celebration (cf. Ex 12:26-27; Deut 6:20-25) and it later appears explicitly in the Jewish haggadah, the dialogue accompanying the rite of the Passover meal.

The Bible too long to read or teach? Go to this psalm for a musical synopsis and the encouragement to form young ones in faith:

One of the Psalms celebrates the proclamation of faith within families: “All that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us, we will not hide from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought. He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children” (Ps 78:3-6).

The years convince me more and more that the classroom is the wrong setting for faith formation. In speaking of a “trade,” Pope Francis alludes to an apprenticeship:

The family is thus the place where parents become their children’s first teachers in the faith. They learn this “trade”, passing it down from one person to another: “When in time to come your son asks you… You shall say to him…” (Ex 13:14). Thus succeeding generations can raise their song to the Lord: “young men and maidens together, old and young together!”(Ps 148:12).

Remember to check the actual document Amoris Laetitia for the full scoop on this document.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 16: Raising Children

  1. Atheist Max says:

    “And why does this same God
    tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?”

    ― Robert G. Ingersoll
    Some Mistakes of Moses

    • Todd says:

      Simple answer: because the premise is totally off. God gives people an invitation. If people have a better notion, like planting those olive shoots out on the highway, only natural consequences result.

  2. Chris says:

    Max argues powerfully against a simplisticaly literalsitic reading of the flood narrative.


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