Book Excerpt! The Presentation and Our Attitude Toward Authority

0
161


There are laws in our country that allow for the desecration of women’s bodies and the murder of innocent children. This, beyond doubt, is wrongful authority, and we have not only the right but also the obligation to courageously stand against it through charitable, diplomatic opposition. If you look the other way, your children will learn to look the other way. […] Most importantly, we can teach our children why contraception, abortion, and euthanasia are wrong. Again, we should teach our children the value of rightful authority, but we also must teach them the dangers of wrongful authority.

When I wrote those paragraphs for my book, Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom, I had no clue that, just a few years later, our nation would face a horrifying barrage of policies, censorships, and executive orders that would limit our freedoms, threaten our right to free speech and worship, and facilitate the gruesome murder of children up until birth and in some cases, even after.

When I wrote those paragraphs for my book, Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom, I had no clue that, just a few years later, our nation would face a horrifying barrage of policies, censorships, and executive orders that would limit our freedoms, threaten our right to free speech and worship, and facilitate the gruesome murder of children up until birth and in some cases, even after. How could anyone imagine such a thing? And yet, here it is hitting us smack in the face.

The following excerpt from Imitating Mary comes from the chapter examining the Presentation of the Lord and is titled, “Imitating Mary’s Courage.” While it is directed toward mom’s and their children it can and should be taken as referring to all of us collectively for the sake of the next generation. These words are so pertinent for today!

Attitude toward Authority

“It’s interesting that the Holy Family willingly follow the law even though they were perfectly exempt from it. This has served as a striking example for me, especially during times when I find myself struggling with authority. It’s hard enough for me to accept rightful authority; when I’m faced with unjust authority, I throw a fit. My family teases me because, when I exercise in the mornings, the one song that really motivates me is the “Authority,” by John Mellencamp. Suffice It to say that the most often-repeated phrase in the song is, “I fight authority.” I think you get my drift. My mischievous clan has dubbed it “Moms Theme Song,” and I’m afraid I can’t argue.

“In the Presentation narrative, we see that the Holy Family courageously obeyed authority they didn’t even have to obey! They totally submitted to God and gave to us an example of faithful service and commitment to him. Their faithful service and commitment continued for 30 more years as they lived a simple, ordinary life together in their humble Nazareth home, continuing to follow the Jewish law and giving honor to God through the joys, sorrows, pleasures, prayer, work, and struggles of their everyday life.

“Could you do that was to mark could you obey authority you didn’t have to obey as the Holy Family did? What about authority you’re required to obey, but resist? It’s a valuable lesson to teach our children how to submit to rightful authority, and how to diplomatically oppose wrongful authority. It takes courage to do that, because it means standing up for justice and doing what’s right.

Rightful Authority

“Rightful authority includes natural law, civic law and ecclesial law. Of course, we can’t forget parental law! It’s good to evaluate your own attitude toward these laws and then to examine what message you give your children by your behavior. If you didn’t want to be a good Catholic mom, you wouldn’t be reading this book. Yet some of us consider ourselves faithful Catholics and still have difficulty following ecclesial authority. We know we should go to Sunday Mass, but sometimes it’s hard to give up that one, quiet morning when we might be able to sleep in, especially after a chaotic week. What would it hurt, right? It hurts a lot; it hurts our souls, and potentially the souls of our families, since deprives us of the graces offered us at holy Mass. It’s the same with the sacrament of Reconciliation. It can be hard to get there, especially if it’s at an inconvenient time. But we need those graces; we need the forgiveness of God and the absolution of our sins – and so do our families. The Church wants us to receive the sacraments frequently for our sakes, not hers.

“The way you approach ecclesial authority will probably be the same way your children will approach it when they reach adulthood. If they see you joyfully and courageously rise on Sunday mornings; if they see you looking forward to attending Mass (squeezing in daily Mass would be an extra bonus!); If they sense in you a sincere need for the Eucharist; then the likelihood is that they will, too. If your children observe in you and attitude of penitence and desire for God’s mercy; if they see you making a space in your calendar for Reconciliation; then likely they will, too. Following ecclesial authority is just one way in which you can show your children how to obey rightful authority as the Holy Family did. Developing an attitude of service and commitment in your self will help your family members to develop an attitude of service and commitment. Courage isn’t always about heroic feats; it’s about breaking through complacency to follow God’s laws.

Wrongful Authority

“The principle is the same for wrongful authority, although the approach is different. A primary example is the pro-life movement. There are laws in our country that allow for the desecration of women’s bodies and the murder of innocent children. This, beyond doubt, is wrongful authority, and we have not only the right but also the obligation to courageously stand against it through charitable, diplomatic opposition. If you look the other way, your children will learn to look the other way. Not all of us are cut out to be sidewalk counselors, but we all can find some ways – even very small ways – to promote life. We can pray for those who are more apostolic we active in the movement; we can participate in rallies, petitions, campaigns, or special events; we can fast and sacrifice or abortion and euthanasia victims; we can join in parish activities; and, most importantly, we can teach our children why contraception, abortion, and euthanasia are wrong. Again, we should teach our children the value of rightful authority, but we also must teach them the dangers of wrongful authority.”

Our Lady did not need purification as was the Old Testament custom, nor did Jesus need to be presented to God since he was and is God. Certainly St. Joseph knew this as well. The Holy Family adhered to the custom, not for their own sakes, but for ours so as to show us how to acknowledge the Authority that supercedes all human authority – God alone. Later in their lives, they would show us how to oppose wrongful authority even to the point of our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion.

Let us pray for the wisdom and humility to follow God’s authority at all times and to courageously, diplomatically, and unwaveringly oppose wrongful wrongful authority. May God grant us all the grace to know the difference.

MaryMail logo

Sign up for MaryMail!

A weekly three-minute reflection to increase your love of Mary plus my latest podcasts and videos.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

2 × two =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.