On the Spot: It's All about the Children

Authored by Amette Ley in Issue #33.4 of The Sower

‘On the Spot’ aims to highlight some of the complex positions, questions and comments experienced by Catechists, teachers and parents. It tries to outline the knowledge necessary to be faithful to Church teaching and which will best help those we teach who call us to account for the hope that is in us. [cf I Peter 3:15] This time we consider the ways in which Advent and Christmas have been diminished in popular thought, both Christian and secular, and suggest that prayer is the true means through which to integrate delight and altruism.

“It’s all about the children really, isn’t it?” Overheard at many a bus stop, this remark, soothing and universal in appeal, establishes a comfortable and unchallenging approach to the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Christmas, obviously, is all about children, their pleasure in the gifts they are given, our own pleasure in giving the gifts, the holiday season with its parties and rest from school, visits to family, friends and places of entertainment, to say nothing of endless sessions in front of various electronic screens.

And if there are no children? Perhaps there never were any in the family, or they have grown and gone. Some will organise the equivalent of childish enjoyment for themselves, with extra food and drink, visiting, parties and pleasure. Others will take refuge in altruism, helping at the parish Christmas lunch for the homeless, or the local soup kitchen or hospital.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Barbara Morgan—Pursuing Holiness
By Dr. James Pauley
Free What is holiness? In our lead article, Dr. John Cavadini describes holiness as the Second Vatican Council did, as “the perfection of love.” [1] How can we begin to imagine love’s perfection? Considered abstractly, we cannot wrap our minds around it. We need to somehow see it, if we are to understand the aim above every other in the Christian life... Read more
What Is Holiness?
By John C. Cavadini
Surely one of the most beautiful, one of the most enduring, and one of the most sublime teachings of Vatican II is the universal call to holiness in Lumen Gentium, chapter 5. I have never reread this chapter without feeling an increase of my own zeal for answering this call, even as I become more aware, at the same time, of how much I fall short.... Read more
The Way and Witness of a Holy Marriage
By Deacon James Keating
Free The matrimony of two of the baptized…is in real, essential and intrinsic relationship with the mystery of the union of Christ with the church…it participates in its nature…marriage is deeply seated and rooted therefore in the Eucharistic mystery.[1] This spiritual vision of marriage, as articulated by Cardinal Caffara, may appear as novel or even... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now