Friday, June 20, 2008

Parents and Children

Our eastern tradition strongly advices us filial piety. It is interesting how Confucius recorded it in his Analects and how the modern Church explains about that piety in the context of parents and children relationship.

Here are the quotations:

"Few indeed are those who are naturally filial towards their parents and dutiful towards their elder brothers but are fond of opposing their superiors; and it never happens that those who do not like opposing their superiors are fond of creating civil disorder. The gentleman concerns himself with the root; and if the root is firmly planted, the Way grows. Filial piety and fraternal duty--surely they are the roots of humaneness" (Analects, 1:2).

What are the duties of children toward their parents?

Children owe respect (filial piety), gratitude, docility and obedience to their parents. In paying them respect and in fostering good relationships with their brothers and sisters, children contribute to the growth in harmony and holiness in family life in general. Adult children should give their parents material and moral support whenever they find themselves in situations of distress, sickness, loneliness, or old age (Compendium of CCC, 459).

What are the duties of parents toward their children?
Parents, in virtue of their participation in the fatherhood of God, have the first responsibility for the education of their children and they are the first heralds of the faith for them. They have the duty to love and respect their children as persons and as children of God and to provide, as far as is possible, for their physical and spiritual needs. They should select for them a suitable school and help them with prudent counsel in the choice of their profession and their state of life. In particular they have the mission of educating their children in the Christian faith (Compendium of CCC, 460).