Love’s Paradox

Ever notice how you can be so kind to total strangers, even when they aren’t kind themselves, but when it comes to family, kindness escapes you?

I’ve noticed. My family has noticed. I wonder if it has to do with Jesus’ warning, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

But then, we would be mean to ourselves, right?

Strike that idea. Perhaps it’s because we’re with our families all the time and they just get on our nerves, and we get more easily frustrated and irritated. That might be it.

But then, what about the 8 hours a day that we spend with others in the office? We certainly wouldn’t forget our manners with our coworkers and bosses.

Nope. That doesn’t hold water either. Okay, how about this – we feel entitled to treat our family however we please, because we know they will always love us. Hmmm…this might be it!

We don’t treat strangers badly, because they might think ill of us and not want anything to do with us, help us, etc. We don’t treat coworkers and bosses badly for the same reason. Somehow we are able to control ourselves, our emotions. We check our feelings at the door, because we know how much damage they can do, and we don’t want to risk the negative consequences that will ensue after an emotional outburst. (In other words, ‘save ME at all costs!’)

But it’s different with family. Family is always there. They won’t leave us or forsake us (usually). Especially children. Don’t they get a bad deal – parents upset with them, frustrated words and being sent to their room, because they didn’t fit the mold we created for them.

This family extends to God, except it even more true with God. We live in habitual sin, sometimes completely ignoring Him, only to turn around and get upset with Him when He doesn’t answer our prayer the way we think is best. It all stems from Pride.

Pride – you know the capital sin that was Lucifer’s demise? It is still rampant, especially in the family unit. Why? Because satan knows how powerful a holy family is. He wants to keep the family down, absorbed in themselves. So he weasels his way into pop culture, appearing in disrespectful children, lazy dads, and gossiping mothers in all types of sitcoms and movies. Now it’s normal. The transformation is complete. Satan and his demons can relax a bit.

Keep loving. Keep giving. Keep your mouth shut. Pray to the Holy Family. Pray to Saints Anne and Joachim. Pray to St. James. Even pray to St. Jude. Bless you home. Sanctify your home with your words, your actions. Value the members of your family, and tell them their value. Renew the holiness of your lives that you so much want. Let go of ME syndrome!

It is a battle, a battle that must be won. Is it worth the risk to brush off your behavior with, “it’s okay, they’re family”?

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