ARE YOU A GOOD PARENT?
DO YOU REALLY THINK SO?
WHAT DO YOUR CHILDREN THINK ABOUT THIS?
ARE YOU SURE?
On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. 
|문화체육관광부 (2014) via Flickr, CC|
|Photo courtesy of Brookfield Academy|
|Cartoon from The Economist, July 26, 2014|
Through our baptism, we're called to be royal, priestly parents to our children, exercising our God-given authority with kindness and benevolence. When we truly understand the essence of our authority, we can be leaders and nurturers of our children and help them to become the nurturers and leaders of the future.~ from Strengthening Your Family by Marge Fenelon, p.176
The heavenly Father has called us to his own glory and excellence. As royal children, we take on a royal attitude. It’s royal in that we hold ourselves accountable to rise above the degradation and godlessness of the world around us. It’s royal in that we adhere to a scale of values that uplifts and inspires us. It’s royal in that we don’t think we’re better than others but work to become better than we are. It’s royal in that we’re granted the ability to know and love God, to walk in the Holy Spirit, and to love whatever God loves. It’s royal in that we live in the reality that we are cherished by God above all things.
According to the Church, through our baptism we become not only a royal people, but also priests and prophets. As a royal people, a royal married couple, a royal family, our vocation is to serve — with Christ — each other, our Church, and the world in that order of priority, thus fulfilling our royal dignity. Because we are royalty, we live in the “court” of the King’s heart, attaching ourselves to him and aligning ourselves to his will for the sake of the Kingdom. (p.128)
We will find happiness in living out God's purpose for our lives, not our own. The culture of the early twenty-first century makes it easy to follow mistaken paths. The media bombards us with the temptation to fulfill ourselves, to find ourselves, to meet our own needs. It is a message of selfishness. And it is spread constantly. Magazines, television, radio, films, books, and the internet promote images of the 'ideal' career, body, fashion, home, car, vacation, husband, and parenting. These 'ideals"' are often reinforced by friends and family. Influenced by these 'ideals,' many of us make important life decisions without first considering our relationship with Jesus Christ and our Catholic faith...As Catholic mothers, we are called to dig deep into our hearts and pray that we are actually co-operating with God's grace...Our children are gifts from our Creator who has entrusted the souls of our children to us. (pp18-19)Motherhood Matters is broken into many small sections which makes it easy for busy people to read, yet it is never disjointed; one paragraph flows seamlessly into another. Dorothy substantiates her claims about women and motherhood, about divorce, illegitimacy, diseases, and all the trials of modern life, with statistics of several recent studies, not only with pious beliefs. Yet the statistics uphold the piety, showing that when we depart from God and his law we pay, our children pay, and all society pays. (pp.31-32) We see that many women are often forced to set aside their childbearing years in order to make money. Even after the children are born, women must often forgo being with their children and creating a home in order to be part of the work force.
Remaining grounded in a fervent prayer life and being aware of the dangerous messages that exist in the media can better equip parents to understand the challenges that vulnerable teenage girls wrestle with. Awareness leads to conversations we might have never had. But be prepared. I guarantee that those conversations will challenge you, yet I cannot imagine a life without them. (p.99)The choice that lies before each of us is between a life of authentic love and one of fleeting material gratifications. No one can make the choice for us. Reading a book like Dorothy's makes it easier to choose a life of love, a life which foreshadows the eternity of endless happiness and fulfillment.