God And The Fourth Commandment
( Originally Published 1922 )
"Honor thy father and thy mother."
The home is built upon the Sacrament of Matrimony. The father is the head of the family; the mother is his help-mate. God gives children to husband and wife. They are to care for them, train them in virtue, and prepare them for their true home in heaven. The home should be a place of peace and love. Obedient children bring happiness into the home. When children obey their parents, they are really obeying God. We show love for God when we honor our parents. Children should be kind, loving, and polite in the home. They should love their parents all through life and pray for them when they die.
Children, you have often told me about God's love. Tell me how God helps you get to heaven. Tell me how God takes care of little babies. Of course you were all little babies once. Where did you get your father and mother? Perhaps you would like to tell me some of the things your parents do for you. Why did God give you your parents? What Sacrament did your father and mother receive when they were married? When did God give them grace to love each other until death? What Sacrament, then, made a home for you on earth? What Sacrament gave your father and mother grace to love you so much ? For what Sacrament will you thank God when you think of how good your father and mother are to you?
Who is the head of your family? Who made your father the head of your family? Who made your mother your father's helpmate? What does God want your father and mother to do for you? What does God want your father and mother to teach you? Who tells little children what they should do and what they should not do? Who tells you at home what is right and what is wrong ?
For what are we preparing ourselves in this life? For what did God make us? Whom did God give to you to teach you how to get to heaven ? What does God want children to do for their parents? Why does God want you to obey your parents? Who placed your parents over you? Whom do you really obey when you obey your parents? Who taught your parents what to teach you? Which Church teaches your parents what God wants you to do? Who gave us the Catholic Church? Who keeps the truth in the Catholic Church? How long will the Catholic Church last?
What did God say in the Fourth Commandment? How do you honor your parents? What does it show when you obey your parents? Why do you like to make your parents happy? Who wants you to love your parents? What can you do to make your parents happy? Why does it make your parents happy when you obey them? Why do you always try to be cheerful at home? Whom do you make happy when you are cheerful ? Who wants you to be kind and cheerful at home? How does it make you feel to be cheerful "all the time? Tell me about your brothers and sisters. How do you like to act with your brothers and sisters? Why do you like to be kind to them? Who wants you to love them? How can you show that you love them? Why do you always try to speak kindly to them? How do you act when you are playing with them? Why do you think it is good to try to speak in a pleasant voice? Why do you try to please others?
In what part of the Bible can you read about the Fourth Commandment? In what part of the Bible is the Book of Exodus? Who wrote the Bible? How did God write the Bible? What are the two parts of he Bible? Why do good people like to have the Bible in their home? Whose word is the Bible? Why do good people like to read the Bible ? What Church tells us what the Bible means?
Who wants you to show great respect for your parents? How do you speak to your parents to show respect for them? Why do you like to obey them cheerfully? How quickly do you like to do what they tell you? Why do you obey your parents even when they are absent ? How do other good men and boys show respect for your mother when they meet her on the street? How do you show respect for ladies when you meet them? Of all the women that ever lived, whom do you honor most? Why do you say "sir" when you are speaking to a man? Why do you like to show respect for everybody? Why do you always try to show good manners?
Why do you, boys, take off your hat when you enter a house? Why do you remain standing until grown people are seated? Why do you keep from loud laughing when you are in the home? Why do you keep from making noise while you are eating? What does it show when you use good manners? Why do you always respect others? What would you do if you saw a lady standing and you were sitting? What do you say when anybody does something for you? hat do you say when anybody answers a question for you?
How does God want you to act toward others? Whom does God want you to love? What two people does God want you to love best on earth? What kind of children always love their parents? Who is our Lord's mother? Whom did our Lord love best on earth when He was a child ? What do you think our Lord used to do when He was a boy? What do you think He used to do when she needed wood for the fire? Who do you think carried water for the Blessed Virgin? What do you think our Lord did for St. Joseph? Who used to help St. Joseph with his work? What do you think the boy Jesus would do when His blessed mother or St. Joseph told Him to do some-thing? How do you think our Lord and His blessed mother and St. Joseph lived together? How do you think they acted toward one another ? How do you think they spoke to one another? What kind of home do you think they had? What made their home so happy? Was the Holy Family rich or poor? In what kind of place was our Lord born? What made the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph happy in the stable ? What kind of people are always happy? Where did our Lord live when He was a little boy? Yes ; the Holy Family lived in Nazareth. It is a small town in Palestine about 15 miles from Jerusalem. Palestine is called the Holy Land because our Lord was born there, lived, and died there. There are about 4000 people living in Nazareth now.
How often do you think the boy Christ was cheerful at home? When do you think the boy Christ obeyed His blessed mother and St. Joseph? How do you think He acted with other children? How would you have spoken to the boy Jesus if you had been there? What would you have done if you had met the Blessed Virgin? Why do you show respect for all women? Why are you glad when others show respect for your mother? How does our Lord feel when you show love for His holy mother? How do you show your love for our Lord's blessed mother?
What home was the happiest home on earth? Who was the head of the Holy Family? What did St. Joseph do for our Lord and the Blessed Virgin ? What made the Holy Family happy? Like what home would you wish your home to be? How can you help make your home like the home of the Holy Family? What can you do that the boy Jesus did? How do you think the Blessed Virgin kept the house? How do you think she always did the housework? Who do you think helped her to wash the dishes and sweep the floor ? What do you think the boy Jesus would say to His blessed mother when He met her after rising in the morning ? What would He say to St. Joseph, too? What does it show when we wish people "good morning"? What do you think the boy Jesus would say to His blessed mother and St. Joseph when He was going to bed ? What do you think He would say when they gave Him some-thing or did something for Him? Why do you think the holy house of Nazareth was the home of love?
I will tell you about the holy house in which the Holy Family lived. After our Lord died it stood in Nazareth for several hundred years. Then it disappeared. It had been carried hundreds of miles across the seas into a country called Dalmatia. You can find this country on the map just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. But after some years the holy house was taken one night from Dalmatia and carried into Italy. There it was put on a farm which belonged to a woman named Loretto. There it stands to-day in the center of a beautiful church which was built around it. Now it is called the Holy House of Loretto. It is about sixteen feet wide and about forty feet long. They say that the angels carried the Holy House away from Nazareth. In any case, we know that God wanted to save the little home in which the Holy Family lived so many years. Now, could you tell any one what happened to the Holy House of Nazareth? Where was it first taken to? Where is it now? What can you tell me about how it is placed and about the size of it ?
How can you help to make your home a home of love? What kind of home do you think pleases God? What can you do to help make your home happy? What can you do for your father and mother? When did God tell you to obey your parents?
You know our Lord loved the children very much. They used to go to Him. He would put His arms around them and bless them. You can read about this in the Gospel of St. Mark, Ch. 10, 14. What do you think our Lord told these children to do for their parents? Why do you think our Lord wanted them to love and obey their parents? What kind of children love and obey their parents ?
Why does our Lord want all children to be good ? What do you think the Apostles told the children to do? How do you think the children of the early Christians acted toward their parents? What do you think St. Tarsicius did for his parents ? Tell me what you remember about this boy saint.
Now I will tell you about a little girl saint who was also a martyr. Her name was Agnes ; she lived in Rome about seventeen hundred years ago. She was a sweet and holy child ; but the cruel pagans put her to death because she would not give up our holy Faith. How do you think St. Agnes acted toward her parents? How do you think she spoke to them? When did St. Agnes live? Where did she live? Why did the pagans put her to death?
Whom do you really obey when you obey your parents? Who gave us the Fourth Commandment? Who wrote the Fourth Commandment in the Bible? Who is the head of your family? Who is your father's helpmate? How did God join your father and mother together? What Sacrament gives you a home? What makes the home happy? What was the happiest home on earth? Why would you like to have visited the Holy Family ? With whom would you have talked if you had visited them? Where is God's house on earth? How often can you visit God in His house? When do you talk with our Lord now?
When do you talk with our Lord's blessed mother? When do you talk with St. Joseph? What can you do to make God's house beautiful?
Why would you like to help make God's house beautiful? What can you do to help make your own home pleasant? How do you like to help keep the house? Why do you like to help keep the house neat and tidy? What can you do to help your brothers and sisters? How many of you have little brothers and sisters? Tell me about them. What can you teach your little brothers and sisters? How can you teach them to love God? When can you teach them to call God our Father ?
What can you show them that our 'Heavenly Father does for them? What can you tell them about their bread and milk? What can you tell them when you take them to see the pretty flowers ? What can you tell them when the birds are singing? What can you tell them when you are looking at the beautiful sunset? What can you tell them when you are looking at the moon and the stars ? How do you show them that God loves us all? What can you tell them about your father and mother? How can you help your little brothers and sisters be good? If you are good and kind, how will that help them? How will it help them when they see you obeying your father and mother? How will it help them when they see that you are always cheerful?
How can you help other children with whom you play? What will they think if they see how happy you are when you are good? How do you show that you love your parents? What can you ask God to do for your parents? How often will God bless your parents if you ask Him? What can children do for parents that are dead? What does it show when children pray for their dead parents? How long will you love your parents in heaven? Why does God love your parents so much? For whom are your parents taking care of you?
When can you ask God to bless your home? How often will God bless your home? Who will come to bless your house if you ask him? Who gave the priest power to bless houses and other things? How does the priest bless houses on Epiphany? What does he write above the door? What kind of crayon does he use? On what day is the feast of Epiphany?
Who gave you your parents? Tell me now what God wants you to do for your parents. Tell me about your home. Tell me what makes the home happy.