Every evening we pray the Rosary which is sometimes followed by a reading of the Bible if time permits.
I always make my sons open it either at random or anywhere of their choosing. My eldest son likes to open directly to the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom or the letters of Paul.
He enjoys reading the proverb and then waiting for me (if I can) to explain to him the deeper meaning of each proverb.
It’s interesting to see the difference in my son’s upbringing. When comparable to mine it’s one blessed because I wasn’t fed the Bible at all. I didn’t even know who St.Paul was until I turned 23 years old. Now I’m sitting beside an 11-year-old actually taking an interest in it.
He reads that much I have to tell him to go to bed because he’s going on a bit too much for my liking and I want to sleep.
When I was 11 years old roaming the streets and getting into all sorts of mischief, smoking cigarettes and playing truth or dare with the girls was all I ever knew. And I don’t need to tell you how that truth or dare ended, we all know what happened at those games.
My son is not a street roamer. It’s because I keep him shielded from the undesirables who through no fault of their own are born into a tragedy no different than I at that age.
One day as a teenager after collecting my social welfare at the post office I bought a box of matches. Back then they’d put old wise Irish sayings on the backs of boxes of matches. Prior to lighting the cigarette, I’d read it and this one I’d taken the trouble to remember. It said, “What’s in the cat is in the kitten”.
How true is that? It’s not always accurate but usually, if the father or mother is a scumbag it makes sense the child will adopt those skullduggery mannerisms also, right? If the father was a drinker his son ends up one. If the father has a particular type of philosophical view on life such as, “I never give to charities, let them work for their own bread”. Then it makes sense the sons will idolize the father and adopt this philosophy also.
This is why I can’t allow the innocence of my son to be lost to those types of people. I have no choice but to become emotionally detached and keep my son inside and watch who he has play dates with to use a modern term.
Here are some proverbs he enjoyed reading and me telling him more about them:
“What good is money in a foolish hand? To purchase wisdom, when he has no sense?” (Proverbs:17:16)
I explained to him that some rich people send their kids to university because they’ve money. They make an attempt to purchase for themselves wisdom, but it’s the knowledge of this world and they go around thinking they’re intelligent when really they’ve no sense which is to say spiritual sense that comes only from God through the labour of good works and prayer.
Here’s another simple one. “There is a way that some think right, but it leads in the end to death.”
Think about what I said earlier, “I never give to charities let them work for their own bread”. This is a human philosophy that makes sense to a lot of those conservative regarding their finances and politics. However, it is not shared by the Lord and so such beliefs lead the individual who holds them in the end to “death” not just in this life but in the next also. By death, in this life, I mean literally but also spiritually whereby the individual becomes numb to all things religious.
O.K so the last one
“A present opens every door for you and wins you access to the great.” (Proverbs:18:16)
I explained to my son that in this life whenever you gift people something, they want to return the favour. Giving in this world will open doors for you in business but it’s not real charity only self-serving.
However, what the proverb really means is that when you give selflessly to God your thanksgiving and prayer, it opens doors of Grace and gives you access to the great such as the gifts and companionship of the Holy Spirit.
We sometimes spend a good hour on these sayings. I am often tired by the end of it but I suffer it because I know he’ll remember it one day. Such meetings will help him grow stronger in his relationship with me and his faith. If he keeps reading these books he’ll go into the world armed to the teeth with a lot of “sense” as he goes to get that degree in college.