Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Today I was the privileged recipient of a homily by Fr. Dan Patee on today's gospel, particularly the question "Who do you say that I am?"

Fr. Dan proposed a few different modern cultural answers to that question, such as Jesus being but a relevant human, kind of a cool guy, but someone to whom one might or might not be interested, and whose views and opinions may or may not affect one.

But basically he left the question open for us to answer in our own hearts during that Mass.

In the midst of the din of my children moving about (ok, I have sensitive ears -- it wasn't really THAT loud), I wasn't expecting much of myself as a response. But Jesus put a fairly firm answer in my heart. Who is Jesus to me? Jesus is the one who gives me direction -- who communicates to me the Father's direction for my life, and even more so for the formation of my children.

This morning I was trying to communicate with my son about our differences in learning styles, interests, etc, and how this affects our relationship. He is but 5, so the conversation probably was more for me to hear my own thoughts. But somewhere in the midst of this, I see that if life is just a matter of one person trying to make other people be like them, that doesn't respect the individual. But more than that. Life is for bringing honor and glory to God living in relationship with Him. So our homeschool/unschool life needs to have the same thrust, the same "structure", the same purpose. The same focus that comes not from Mom who happens to love books and words and linear thinking (much to the dismay of visual-spatial son), but from a higher ideal; from the wisdom of the Church and the directive of God in Scripture and in the tradition of His people.

I'm thinking maybe I need to have the family do a "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" mission statement, as pertains to formation, which includes "education", but certainly isn't limited to academics. Because the answer to that question, "who is Jesus?" should be evident by looking at all facets of our life, if not by looking at them directly, at least for me to be able to know what our ideal, what our goal, what our aim is. Otherwise we have a kind of haphazard "non-directive" (Karl Rogers, as Fr. Dan reminded us) approach and picture of Jesus, where whatever we want to do in life is fine and dandy. Was it St. Augustine who said "Love God and do what you will?" Well, I think in our day and age, or at least in my mind and our family, I need some precision about what it means to love God. So, just define "how does this family aim to love God" -- and then, do what we will.

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