Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation is on this link at the Vatican site. Today we continue with a look across the generations:
189. The Bible also tells us: “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Prov 23:22). The command to honour our father and mother “is the first commandment to carry a promise with it” (Eph 6:2, cf. Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Lev 19:3), and that promise is: “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth” (Eph 6:3).
Listening is a first step. It implies respect, a willingness to engage. A person can always be open to listen to another viewpoint. It does not imply agreement, obedience, concession, or anything like it. Twelve-Step programs acknoeldge the principle: take what is needed, and leave the rest. One of the church doctors would seem to agree:
190. This does not mean having to agree with everything adults say or approving all their actions. A young person should always have a critical spirit. Saint Basil the Great encouraged the young to esteem the classical Greek authors, but to accept only whatever good they could teach.[Cf. Ad Adolescentes, I, 2: PG 31, 566] It is really a matter of being open to receiving a wisdom passed down from generation to generation, a wisdom familiar with human weakness and not deserving to vanish before the novelties of consumer society and the market.
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