Saturday, February 17, 2007

Honor Your Father and Mother

"thedude" asked the following question in the Q&A board at Phatmass:
When does disobeying parents become grave matter?
Whenever they ask you to do something that is for your own good and you do not do it, you sin. And, since "Honor your father and mother" is the first of the Commandments that concern love of neighbor, this sin is also quite grave. From the Catechism:
2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord" (Col 3:20; Cf. Eph 6:1). Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.

As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Any sin against one of the Ten Commandments is considered grave matter (cf. CCC, 1858) and this is one of them.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

2 comments:

Ron said...

From what I understand, the Hebrew word used actually means 'glorify' our father and mother. This means in our words and actions apart from them as well as in our direct dealings with them. So you had a bad mom/dad? I don't see any qualifiers in the Decalogue for that. Now it doesn't say to be mindless robots whose only job is to obey, submit, and be the slave in some macabre scenario of sin. But Aquinas thought that the debt we owed our parents was above the debt we owed our country, friends, etc, and calls us to 'dutiful observance'toward them. He also says that we are rewarded for providing this dutiful observance (1. Grace and glory; 2. A long life; 3. Grateful children in turn)

Very good topic to cover, especially in this day and age. Thanks.

phatcatholic said...

Thanks for the input, Ron!

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