How Mothers and Fathers should discharge their duties to God and to their family

January 13, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 451

Let married women faithfully acquit themselves of the duties of their household, discharging all their obligations to their husband and children, that they may thus be free to attend to practices of piety without neglecting what they owe their family. That would be a worthless devotion which would occupy the time which should be given to domestic atfairs.

Let fathers of families reflect upon the terrible affliction which the high-priest Heli drew upon himself by neglecting to chastise his children. Sudden death came upon himself and his sons, and the priesthood was withdrawn from his family for ever. [1 kings iv. 4.]

As the sins of children are to a certain degree attributable to parents, the perdition of a child not unfrequently involves the condemnation of the parents. How can he be called a true father who, having begotten his son for this world, fails to train him for the Kingdom of Heaven?

Therefore, advise and correct your children. Guard them from evil associates. Give them wise and virtuous masters. Teach them to love virtue, and let them, like Tobias, be inspired from their infancy with the fear of God. [Tobias ii. 13.] Do not gratify their whims, but curb their wills that they may become truly submissive.

Be no less solicitous in providing for their spiritual than their corporal wants; for it is unreasonable to suppose that the duty of parents extends no farther than that of birds and beasts, whose only care is to feed and nourish their young. Fulfil the duties of a father in a manner becoming a Christian, a true servant of God, and thus you will bring up your children heirs to Heaven, and not slaves of hell.

Heads of families with servants to govern should bear in mind these words of the Apostle: “If any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” [1 Tim. v. 8.] The members of their household form the sheep of the flock which has been confided to them, and for which they must one day render an account. Precious are they in the sight of the Lord, because they have been redeemed by the Passion of His Divine Son, through Whose Blood every human being has received a nobility higher than all the honors of earth.

A good master, therefore, will carefully endeavor to abolish among his servants all public vices, such as quarrelling, gambling, swearing, and especially sins of impurity. He will see that they are instructed in the principles of their faith, and that they are enabled to observe the commandments of God and of the Church, particularly the precepts to hear Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation, and to keep the fasts and abstinence prescribed by the Church, unless they are lawfully dispensed or excused.

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