Today, Fr. Steve focuses on the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds, highlighting the importance of the Spiritual Battle, and the ultimate judgment that we will all face one day. We ought not judge prematurely, but be prayerfully patient, with ourselves and with others. Fr. Steve emphasizes the work of the Devil, especially in our electronic, social media age. Just as the Son of Man sows seed, so does the Evil One, and he is particularly focused on our children. Fr. Steve challenges parents to be very careful with smart phones and other media, and guard their children's hearts and minds like they do their homes (i.e., don't let anyone get access to them that you wouldn't invite to your home). Here are links to two articles by Rod Dreher: "The Terrible Cost of Porn" and "What Porn Did to Their Lives." Please note that those articles include mature material, suitable for adults. For information about keeping families and children safe, you can visit Enough is Enough or information by Matt Fradd at the Chastity Project or at his website.
After this homily, I got this email from a parishioner:
As discussed after Mass, here is the link to the book Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, which is an aid to parents seeking to protect their children from pornography. I read it to my three oldest (ages 5 to 9) this afternoon and thought it was excellent and age appropriate for all. It took me about an hour to read it to them. The older two remained engaged throughout. The book may have been more suitable for my 5 year old in two or three shorter settings, rather than in a single setting.
I highly recommend this resource for all parents of children (especially those ages 5 to 12) in the parish. And it is my hope that my fellow parents in the parish will take similar measures--books, technological filters, limited access to devises--to protect their children. I say this out of love for their children and also out of love for my own children, for if other parents in the parish don't do their job, it increases the likelihood that my children will be harmed by pornography--or worse.
I'm very hopeful too that parents in our parish and in our school will take prudent steps to safeguard their children's hearts, minds, and souls.