Posted by: fvbcdm | April 16, 2015

Feast of Saint Bernadette Soubirous (16 April 2015)

When my classmates and I finished our course of theology in the seminary and were ready for our first assignment, we were sent to the main mental hospital in Iowa where our seminary was, to take a six-week course in mental health. One of the things that the child psychiatrist emphasized often is that children and young people need guidance and laws and recognize, even though they might not admit it, that laws and regulations are a sign of the love that the parents have for the children.

Shortly after I got to my first assignment in Dallas, I took part in a youth retreat. A young girl—about 17—came in to talk to me. She was the product of a broken home; every summer she would visit her father who lived in California. She had just returned from that annual visit to her Dad, and she told me that she’d never go there again. It seems that while she was there, a boy asked her for a date. As they were preparing to leave the house, she asked her father what time she had to be in.  He was totally indifferent, and told her it didn’t really matter, just have a good time and come home when you want to. She came home at 7 a.m.!

She was expecting him to be waiting up for her, furious that she had so abused the freedom he gave her. No indeed; he was still in bed and didn’t seem to care when she got in. She was honest enough to admit to him that she had stayed out until seven, whereupon he simply said, “Well, I hope you had a good time.” She ended her story by telling me, “Now I know: he doesn’t love me.”

The same principle applies to God’s laws. They are not given to us to limit our freedom or make life unpleasant for us. The Jewish people of old understood very clearly that law is a proof of the love of the lawgiver for those governed, and they were deeply devoted to the Law. It told them very clearly that God loved them as a loving parent who gives laws to his or her children to protect and guide them.  We must always be deeply grateful to our Divine Savior who tells us to “take my yoke upon you; my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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