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Mad-Eye Moody and Advent
Posted By Eric Sammons On November 30, 2009 @ 7:33 am In Books,Parenting | Comments Disabled
In the Harry Potter books, there is a professor called “Mad-Eye Moody” whose experience fighting dark wizards has made him completely paranoid; he sees dark wizards almost everywhere. His refrain to the students is “Constant vigilance!” Although most of the students see him as a bit of a crank, in the end he is correct, as dark wizards are often looming around the corner trying to harm those who are fighting for good.
My wife and I have taken up Mad-Eye’s motto for the raising of our children. The sad fact is that today there are many forces that wish to attack our children and corrupt them with the values of this world, instead of the values of the Gospel. Two generations ago, Catholic parents could be somewhat relaxed about parenting because there were many other parents who were teaching their kids the same values, and they could trust their parish and parish school to do likewise.
However, the generation previous to mine had the misfortune of maintaining this trust in institutions yet having those same institutions (parish, school, and neighborhood) fail them greatly. There were many parents who sent their kids to the local parish or Catholic school in the 1970′s and 1980′s expecting them to get a Catholic education, yet discovered much too late that they instead got the same spiritual upbringing of public schools. As my former pastor once told me, “All I learned in CCD in the 1970′s is ‘Be nice’ and ‘Don’t do drugs.’” Not exactly a well-developed Catholic formation.
Most serious Catholics of my generation now realize that they cannot blindly trust others in the raising of their children – they must have constant vigilance in their parenting, testing those institutions before leaving their children with them. In other words, they need to take a “Mad-Eye Moody” approach to parenting.
What does all this have to do with Advent? Yesterday Christ warned us at the beginning of Advent to “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent” (Luke 21:36). Sometimes our culture is positive enough that we can start to fall asleep and trust others to the tasks given to us. I think most would agree that this is not the case today. But in any time, we must be vigilant, as St. Peter also reminds us: “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
This Advent let us all resolve to be more vigilant in all our responsibilities.
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