Honor Your Father and Your Mother
(CEV) “The Poem of the Man-God,”, Vol. 1, p. 654
Jesus says: “We are all brothers. And you do not give proof of your love by means of words but by deeds. Who closes his heart to his fellowman, has a heart like Cain. Who has no love, is a rebel against the command of God. We are all brothers. And yet I see, and you also see, that there is hatred and disagreement within a family, where the same blood and flesh corroborate the brotherhood which comes to us from Adam. Brothers are against brothers, children against their parents, and parents are hostile to each other.
But in order not to be always wicked brothers, and in future adulterous husband and wife, it is necessary to learn from an early age to respect the family, which is the smallest and the greatest organization in the world. The smallest as compared to the organization of a town, of a region, of a country, of a continent.
But the greatest because it is the oldest; because it was established by God, when the concept of fatherland, of country did not yet exist, but the family nucleus was already alive and active, a source to race and races, a small kingdom in which man is king, woman queen and the children subjects. Can a kingdom last if it is divided and there is enmity among its inhabitants? It cannot. And truly a family will not last if it lacks obedience, respect, economy, good will, activity, love.
“Honor your father and mother”
Says the Decalogue. How are they to be honored? Why are they to be honored?
“They are honored by true obedience, by correct love, by loving respect, by a reverential fear that does not bar confidence, but at the same time does not make us treat our elders as if we were servants and underlings. They are to be honored because after God, a father and mother are the donors of life and of all the material necessities of life, they are the first teachers and the first friends of the young being born on the earth.
We say: “May God bless you” or “Thank you” when someone picks up for us something we have dropped or gives us a piece of bread. Shall we not say, with love: “May God bless you” or “Thank you” to those who break their backs working in order to feed us, weaving our clothes and keeping them clean, who rise from their beds to watch our sleep, who deprive themselves of their rest to cure us, and make a bed for us of their laps, when we are most tired and sorrowful?
They are our teachers. A teacher is feared and respected. But a teacher takes us when we already know what is indispensable to support and feed ourselves and say the essential things, and he leaves us when we are still to be taught the most difficult lesson in life, that is, “to live”. It is our father and mother who prepare us for school first, and then for life.
They are our friends. But which friend can be more friendly than a father? And which more friendly than a mother? Can you be terrified of them? Can you say: “I have been betrayed by him or by her?” And yet there is the foolish boy or the even more foolish girl, who make friends with strangers and close their hearts to their father and mother and they spoil their minds and hearts with unwise if not guilty friendships, which are the cause of paternal and maternal tears, that like drops of molten lead burn their parents’ hearts. Those tears, however, I tell you, do not fall on the dust or into oblivion. God picks them up and counts them. The anguish of a downtrodden parent will receive a prize from the Lord. But the behavior of a son who tortures his parents will not be forgotten either, even if the father and mother, in their sorrowful love, implore from God mercy on their guilty son.
“It is said: “Honor your father and mother, if you want to have a long life on the earth”. And I add: “And for ever in Heaven”.
A short life here would be too light a punishment for those who wrong their parents! Life to come is not an idle story, and in life to come there will be a prize or a punishment according to how we lived. Who wrongs a parent, offends God, because He orders us to love our parents, and who does not love them, commits a sin. Thus, rather than his material life, he loses the true life of which I spoke to you, and goes to his death, nay he is already dead, because his soul is deprived of the grace of God, he is already a criminal because he offends the most holy love after the love for God, he has in himself the germ of future adulteries, because from a bad son he will become an unfaithful husband, he already possesses the incentive of social depravation, because from a bad son originates the future thief, the fierce violent killer, the cold blooded usurer, the cynical hedonist, the disgusting betrayer of his fatherland, of his friends, of his children, of his wife, of everybody. Can you hold in high esteem and trust a man who has been capable of betraying the love of a mother and mocking at the grey hair of a father?
But listen a little further: to the duty of children corresponds a similar duty of parents.
Cursed be the guilty son! But cursed be also the guilty parent. Do not cause your children to criticize you and imitate you in doing wrong. Get them to love you on account of the love you give them with justice and mercy. God is Mercy. Let parents, who are second only to God, be mercy. Be an example and consolation to your children. Be their peace and guide.
Be the first love of your children. A mother is always the first image of the bride we would like to have. A father is for his young daughters the image of the husband they dream of.
Behave in such a way that your sons and daughters may wisely choose their wives and husbands, thinking of their father and mother and seeking in their partners the sincere virtues of their parents.
If I were to speak until I treated the whole subject fully, a whole day and night would not suffice. So, for your sake, I will curtail My speech.
May the Eternal Spirit tell you the rest. I spread the seed and move on. But in good people the seed will take root and bear fruit. Go. Peace be with you.”
Maria Valtorta: The Poem of The Man-God
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