One morning this summer after I had finished my morning reading, Eamon snuggled into my 'spot' and picked up
which has become the focus of my personal spiritual journey and an essential component of what Robynn and I have come to understand as Catholic Contemplative Parenting. For the past two and a half years,we have been discussing our vocation in light of attachement principles, the writings of Saint John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many contemporary authors who address development and attachment.
This is one instance where "do as I do" might work out okay! :)
Today's Divine Intimacy
Fear of the Lord
"To educate us in the Fear of the Lord, the Holy Spirit,
instead of placing before our eyes pictures of the punishmnet and pains due to
sin, instead of representing God as a stern judge, shows Him to us as a most
loving father............What a difference there is between this filial
fear, which is the fruit of love, and servile fear,
which arises form the dread of punishment! It is true that the fear of judgement
and the divine punishment is salutary and in certain cases (in the case of affirmed
adults) can serve greatly to hold a soul back from sin; but if it does not change gradually into filial fear, it will never be sufficient
to impel the soul on to sanctity." (emphasis mine )
This is the basis of attachment parenting. Gregory Popcak refers to it as Self-Donative Parenting. Robynn and I have developed the idea of Catholic Contemplative parenting because we have experienced Contemplation of God's gifts to us (our children) and our parenting style to be intimately intertwined. Our faith in a loving, merciful God naturally leads to the understanding that we are to shepherd our children, to dis.c.i.pl.ine them in virtue, and to lead them to an ability to embrace the cross through meeting their needs in a way that brings them to rest.
Through the act of meeting the needs of our children with magnanimity ( as opposed to shame, fear of punishment, and withdrawal of love)"Servile fear contracts the soul and
makes it petty, whereas filial fear dilates it and spurs it on the way of
generosity and perfection."
we spur them on toward perfection, even as we are working on it ourselves. :)