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Happy New Year - belated

刊登日期: 2014.02.16
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  


 It’s never too late to wish you all a happy new year. (「有心不怕遲,十月都是拜年時。」) 

With a new year, I would like to focus the next few months’ writings on some reflections on the Ten Commandments, beginning with the first Commandment, “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.” 

It would be good for us to consider how we place God in our lives. Very often, our lives are not anchored in God alone. We have so many things to worry about that only when we feel that we need God do we turn to Him. That is not a bad thing by itself. If we don’t turn to Him when we are in need, when should we turn to Him? God allows things to happen so that we do feel like turning to Him. As first teachers of faith, this is important for parents to imitate. Here are a few more ways to help people reflect God in their parenting. For you young people reading this column, tell your parents this is what you would like them to do. (Ha! Ha!) 

First. You should NOT make sure that your children are provided with everything they want all the time. It is good for them to have to wait for something so that they have a sense of their dependence on you. At that moment you can teach them about God’s faithfulness. This is also known as “delayed gratification.” Some things are better having had to wait for them. 

Second. Do not give your children everything even if they were good. Some things they do not need. And even if they need them, it is not all-important to have them. They must trust in you and God. A sense of need helps them to think about God and prayer. 

Third. It is important to make promises you will keep, in your own good time. God does. He means what He says. “Let there be light and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3) “I will be with you always, until the end of time.” (Mt. 28:20) When we keep our word, we unite ourselves with God’s Word, Jesus. Our truthfulness reflects His truthfulness. Our faithfulness reflects His faithfulness. 

Fourth. Do not be fair. It is just common sense. Children want to be treated fairly all the time, yet you treat your children each according to their needs. If you take your daughter shopping, it would be FAIR to buy a dress for your son as well. And if your son needs glasses, would make sure your other son gets a pair of glasses – just to be fair? What a silly thought! God loves us individually and He provides each of us accordingly. Be God-like. Do not be fair. 

Fifth. Do not give in when they say, “Please.” There seems to be this expectation that good manners get you everything. It is important for young people to have good manners. But it should not “buy” them anything. On the other hand, they have to say “thank you” even when they don’t get what they want. They must trust that what you give them, in your wisdom and love, is better for them than what they asked for. Isn’t this what God does? We need to be thankful to God for everything that happens to us every day.


Enough of my rambling thoughts. Next time we will look at the First Commandment and superstition. 

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