Duties of parents


The first duty of parents is to love their children, with true love: internal, generous, orderly, regardless of their physical, intellectual or moral qualities, and they will know how to love them with their defects. They must love them inasmuch as they are their children and because they are their children; and also because they are children of God. Hence, it is the fundamental duty of parents to love and respect the will of God for their children, even more so when they receive a vocation of full dedication to God - they will even often ask the Lord for it and desire it for their children - because "it is not a sacrifice to give one's children to the service of God: it is an honor and a joy". This love must be operative, effectively translated into works. True love will be manifested in the effort to ensure that their children are hard-working, austere, educated in the full sense of the word... and, above all, good Christians. Let the foundations of human virtues be rooted in them: prudence, sobriety in the use of goods, responsibility, generosity, industriousness, that they learn to spend, knowing the needs that many suffer in the world today....

True love will lead parents to be concerned about the school where their children study, to be very attentive to the quality of the education they receive, and in a particular way to religious education, because their very salvation may depend on it. Love for their children will move them to look for a suitable place for vacations and rest, often sacrificing other tastes or interests, avoiding those environments that would make impossible, or at least very difficult, the practice of a true Christian life. Parents should not forget that they are stewards of an immense treasure from God and that, because they are Christians, they do not constitute just another family -and so they will teach their children with opportunity-, but they form a family in which Christ is present, which gives them completely new characteristics. This living reality will impel the parents to be exemplary in every occasion (family life, professional duties, sobriety, order...). And children will find in them the way that leads to God. "In the face of every mother one can catch a reflection of Mary's gentleness, intuition and generosity. By honoring your mother, you will also honor her who, being the Mother of Christ, is equally the Mother of each one of us."

Let us conclude our prayer by placing our families under the protection of the Blessed Virgin and the holy Guardian Angels.