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: Adult Faith Formation and Culture Change
By Dr. James Pauley
Free This year marks the twentieth anniversary of one of the most important publications the U.S. Bishops have ever written: Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us . The ideals and principles expressed in this document are deeply convicting and can be summed up with these stirring words: “adult faith formation is essential to who we are and what we do as... Read more
From the Shepherds: Catechesis in the Light of the Papal Magisterium of Pope Francis Evangelii gaudium - An Access to the Church’s Mission
By Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst
Free Looking back on the past and on the development of the church since the Second Vatican Council, there are two well-known and profound documents, which have brought the biblical call for evangelization into our pastoral consciousness: Evangelii nuntiandi in 1974 and Evangelii gaudium in 2013. Both apostolic letters have reflected on the manner in... Read more
Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Reflection on Discipleship
By Peter J. Murphy
Do you feel the Holy Spirit working? Do you sense that deeper calling, that desire for renewal, that burning within your heart? Yes, it is the same burning that the disciples on the road to Emmaus felt as their Lord and Savior journeyed with them. Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us was written twenty years ago as a prophetic and challenging... 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