Friday, December 31, 2010

Ode to Magnificat - Or how it made my son a theologian

My wife got a subscription to Magnificat about a year ago and it has been a great blessing to our family. We’ve developed a routine whereby we read the readings for the day and then I give a little reflection. Sometimes I’ve got something smart to say and sometimes I come up blank, and then we just read from Magnificat about the Saint of the day or read Magnificat’s reflection of the day.

My 10 year old son is hyper-competitive and he’s now gotten to the point that before I give my brilliant reflection on the readings, he has to tell the family what he thinks the readings are about. He’s hit and miss, but yesterday he was hit. The first reading was from the First Letter of John:

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

I was about to tell him that it’s interesting that John is addressing this letter to males – fathers and young men. But before I do, my ten year old says that John is saying to men that you cannot be like Adam who was weak and blamed his sin on others. Pretty good, kinda relevant.

Then I tell my son that John tells fathers twice, in the very same language, that he is writing to them because “you know him who is from the beginning” and therefore fathers should not fall for “sensual lust” and the enticements of the world which are “passing away,” but should rather look to the Father who remains forever.

I was a little worried that the sensual aspect of the reference would be too specific for a 10 year old to get a general lesson from the reading, but no. My son says to me, “Dad, I know what it means. It’s like if you get me a computer and then all I do is play with the computer and I don’t pay any attention to you. That’s wrong.”

Good lesson for sons and fathers.

I’m making this a New Year’s post. Subscribe to Magnificat and resolve to use it in the new year! It is a fantastic tool for keeping faith at the center of your family.

Happy New Year!