Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Goals for Our Daughters

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” 

1994 Letter to Families, Pope John Paul II: "Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators, because they are parents." (16)

Yes, we would like our daughters to be happy and have fun, go to college, avoid premarital sex, find suitable marriage partners, avoid addiction, depression and eating disorders, etc.—these are expected minimums of achievement for which we will continue to pray.

However, it is most succinct to say that we wish our daughters to be saints—that is, to achieve the destiny for which they were created: to worship Him in heaven forever. As the primary educators of our children, we will be held accountable for our success or our failure to assist them in accomplishing this goal.  Our children are a gift from God; they are meant to be returned to Him.  If our children are one day to live in the presence of God, they must strive to become like Him while they are here on Earth.  In short, they must cultivate virtue.

“A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good.  It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself.  The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.  The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.”  CCC 1803

The virtues that we must inspire in our children are Faith, Hope, and Charity. The Holy Spirit offers seven gifts to help in the development of these virtues: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.  As I understand it, however, those gifts are not unconditionally available.  Our children (and we ourselves) must be attentive, prayerful, and open to grace in order to receive them.  It is our responsibility, therefore, to be certain that any person or group with whom we entrust our children will support us in reaching our goals for our daughters by demonstrating that they are attentive to God’s will, prayerful, and open to grace.  Most of our culture demonstrates the opposite.


  1. Lofty goals, but they're our kids, so what could be more important? God bless.

  2. Just to clarify, saints with a lower case "s" refers to anyone who attains heaven. It would be lovely if they became Saints, but I'm not trying to be an over-achiever...