The Last Word
The theological term “Incarnation” signifies that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, was born in the flesh and came into our world. Christ, when He embraced this union, never intended simply to conform himself to this fallen world; rather he sought to transform it, to elevate it. He came down from heaven in order to be the visible example of Christian perfection. Moreover, he himself became the sole way of eternal life. Only through incorporation in his Mystical Body can man be saved. Saint Thomas Aquinas thus rightly observed in the liturgy of Corpus Christi that “neither is there, nor ever was there, any nation so great, that has gods so nigh them, as our God is present with us, for the only begotten Son of God, wishing that we should be partakers of his divinity, assumed our nature and was made man that he might make men gods.”
Christians, then, as true followers of Christ, must not despise this earthly life, must not fear it and flee it; instead, they should embrace it and seek to conform it in all things to the will of the Father. Faith in Christ gives Christians the strength to live fully in this world, yet still not be of it, to take on difficult tasks and responsibilities without being overwhelmed. Only a solid Catholic education, one guided unerringly by the principles of the Faith, can prepare our children to succeed in their various vocations.
Proper education is thus essential. While the Church and even the State at times help provide education, responsibility for this task falls first and foremost to the parents. Parents, therefore, must train their children thoroughly, that is: physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. Shortcomings in any of these categories are most often a result of negligent parenting.
Parents should never consider themselves dispensed from educating their children, for this is the task God has specifically assigned to them. Parents must ensure, to the best of their abilities, that life at home, at school, in society, at Church, and even during leisure time, conforms to Christian perfection. As Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii explains, “Christian parents must understand that they are destined not only to propagate and preserve the human race on earth, indeed not only to educate any kind of worshippers of the true God, but children who are to become members of the Church of Christ, to raise up fellow-citizens of the Saints, and members of God’s household.”
Solid, Catholic education thus requires heroic dedication. There is nothing more important in any parent’s life than this duty of education, first of themselves and then of their children. If we really love our children, if we really want the best for future generations, for our country, and for the Church, then we have to take our duty as educators seriously. Any carelessness in this task is, in God’s judgment, unacceptable.
Father Jürgen Wegner