RMG – In the family: sobriety and moderation

29 August 2017

(ANS – Roma) – Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime in Strenna 2017, deepens the great mission of families as a school of life and love.  He points out to sobriety and moderation as among some of the most precious and essential values that take roots in family life and become decisive and basic values to children.

Sobriety and moderation put us on the road to learning to use things for what they are needed for and to the extent that they are needed. Any excess, in the end, makes people unhappy.

Often, when parents oppose the choices of their children, they (children) show resistance and ask why they cannot follow fashion or they cannot spend hours surfing the internet or playing computer games. It is important to convey to children the principle that when parents say yes to everything they want, doing just like what others do, they (children) fall into anonymity, somehow they become depersonalized. Whoever says yes to everything, deep within is showing that the self is the only one important and all the rest don’t really matter. Saying no to some things means engaging yourself in other things, finding one’s place in the world, one’s own way of being and behaving. If as a couple there is a commitment to be sober and moderate, and most of all to transmit joy and peace of the soul, the children will be motivated to take on the same lifestyle.

In fact, the simplest and most natural way of transmitting the virtue of sobriety and moderation is the example in the family environment. If the children see that parents give up what they consider a whim or sacrifice their rest to take care of the family, they (children) will assimilate the meaning of these actions. It is true that when parents live soberly, it will be easier to convey values through concrete behaviors. In fact, living and transmitting sobriety and moderation does not mean loading the children of an unbearable burden; instead it means preparing them for life.

When a family takes sobriety and moderation as a lifestyle, it is easier for them to engage in multiple social service work for the benefit of the poor. Saint John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio emphasized the importance that our society learns hospitality, in all its forms, from opening the door to one's own home and heart upon the requests of our brothers/sisters, to the concrete commitment of securing to each family its home as a natural environment that it keeps and makes it grow.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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