PARENTING & How to teach kids humility (and to understand it ourselves)

by Laura Hanby Hudgins, Aleteia, 7/19/19.

…C.S. Lewis defined humility as “… not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

  • Teach gratitude. Perhaps the best way to teach the virtue of humility is to foster in our children a deep sense of gratitude, first to God for all His blessings, but also to the people (parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches) who help cultivate the gifts He has given us…
  • Teach kids to know themselves. Sometimes as parents we think it is our job to tell our children they can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. But St. Augustine described humility as knowing the truth about oneself. This doesn’t mean squashing our kids’ dreams our discouraging their goals. But it does mean helping them to take a realistic look at where their gifts and talents lie, where they need to put in extra work, and even where they might be wasting their time. It also means gently helping them recognize, not only their own limitations, but also their flaws and faults — not so they can give up, but so that they can work to improve and to grow in whatever habits or virtues they need to develop.
  • Reject the cockiness culture. Not only is humility a virtue, but pride is actually considered one of the seven deadly sins (the sins that lead to all others). Yet, walk through any middle school in America, and unless the kids are required to wear a uniform, many of them will likely be wearing t-shirts boldly proclaiming their own greatness with sayings like You Can’t Spell AWESOME Without ME; Not Braggin’ Just Swaggin’; and THIS Is What a Winner Looks Like. These trendy tees might be fun and seem harmless enough, but could they be promoting a culture of cockiness that is further reinforced by many of our kids’ favorite athletes and celebrities?…

  • Be willing to go unnoticed. This is a tough one. No one likes to go unnoticed for an achievement. Maybe we can start by teaching our kids that it’s okay to go unnoticed in a conversation. They don’t always have to tell a funnier joke, one-up a friend’s really cool story, or have the last word in an argument. It’s okay sometimes to just listen…
  • Look for the gifts of others... Sometimes as parents we get so caught up in telling our kids how awesome they are, we fail to help them see the awesomeness of others. Start by talking about what you appreciate and admire in your own friends, and encourage your kids to look for what is noteworthy and admirable about their friends too.
  • Pray. There’s an old joke that it is a bad idea to pray for humility because the last thing you want is to be humbled by God. There may be some truth in that, but often life has a way of humbling us whether we’ve prayed for it or not. It is far better for any of us to be humbled by our Loving Father than by our peers, or worse, our enemies. Praying a prayer for humility is a beautiful way to help every family member grow in this all-important virtue.

Read more at … https://aleteia.org/2019/07/19/6-tricks-to-teach-kids-humility-and-to-understand-it-ourselves/

SYMBOLS & St. Augustine’s evangelistic rationale for depicting Christ on the crucifix

by Phil Kozlowski, Aleteia, 3/22/19.

St. Augustine in the 4th century offered a perfect summary of why Catholics use a crucifix.

The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.

He loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can he fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for he is the source of righteousness? How can he, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when he bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin himself?

Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.

Read more at … https://aleteia.org/2019/03/22/why-do-catholics-use-crucifixes-that-show-jesus-on-the-cross/