St. John Chrysostom just may be the patron of family catechesis. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of St. John in yesterday’s General Audience.
Chrysostom constantly strove to connect Christian doctrine to daily living, emphasizing life-long human development in a person’s physical, intellectual and religious dimensions. Fundamental to this is the first phase when parents must firmly impress God’s law upon their children’s souls. Young people will thus be strengthened to confront the “storms” of adolescence when they must learn to temper concupiscence and eventually to assume the duties of marriage. Indeed, Saint John taught that the family is a “little Church” within the wider ecclesial community. Consequently, each of us has a responsibility for the salvation of those around us. Through the intercession of this saintly Bishop, may we generously embrace this and all our responsibilities in the Church and in society.
Please note the emphasis on “life-long development in a person’s physical, intellectual and religious dimensions”. Parents are expected to keep learning. They are also expected to begin the faith formation of their children’s souls at an early age. With this formation, the teenage years do not have to be a time of great conflict and sorrow. Rather they can be a time of great joy as we watch the seeds of faith we planted and nurtured in early childhood sprout and grow and bear the fruit of a mature faith.
St. John Chrysostom, pray for all of our “Domestic Churches”.