Feelings sit at the heart of our new book, THE SAINTS AND THE CALL TO FRIENDSHIP WITH CHRIST.
There are several reasons modern education pushes teaching kids about their feelings. Emotional education helps a child become more self-aware and allows them to self-regulate when intense emotions erupt. Emotional education also teaches a child to identify the emotions of others and respond with empathy. And emotional awareness helps a child identify the causes of their emotions and problem solve when challenging situations present themselves.
All good stuff, and after typing up that last paragraph I’m keenly aware that one child at my house might need a bit more emotional education 🙂.
But, there’s one important piece missing in emotional education as I described it above:
God, the author of our hearts, and source of everything.
We can’t really understand anything about ourselves or the world around us unless God is part of that understanding.
Through His perfect design, God gave us emotions to pull us into relationships, to help us understand life, and to draw us deeper into His Heart. Every emotion we feel, even the yucky ones, are an opportunity to turn away from God and other people, or to turn toward God and others in love.
Therefore, the real lesson we need to learn is that each feeling is an opportunity.
The Saints show us what to do with these beautiful opportunities. Like our lives, their lives contained pain, misunderstanding, temptation, and rejection. They felt these things keenly, and yet in those dark moments, they chose Christ.
In case you aren’t quite convinced, here are a few examples:
When St. Genevieve felt hopeless, she put all her hope in Christ, confident that He would work a miracle, and He did.
When St. Elizabeth Ann Seton felt abandoned after the death of her husband and was shunned by her community after her conversion, she found a faithful companion in Christ, fully present in the Holy Eucharist.
When St. Andre Bessette felt worthless after countless failures and rejections, he found his true value in his relationship with Christ, a relationship that transformed Andre into a wonderworker.
When St. Devasahayam was publicly humiliated and forced to ride a donkey backward through most of India while people hit him and spit at him, he embraced his innate dignity as a son of God and brother of Christ.
When St. Sebastian felt defeated, tied to a post, shot with arrows and left for dead, he prayerfully asked Christ for fortitude, and, after healing, he continued to challenge the emperor’s treatment of Christians.
When Bl. Michael Cyprian Tansi felt intimidated as he blazed trails for the religious in Nigeria, he allowed Christ to walk before Him and together they achieved remarkable things.
….and those are just the saints from the first half of January!
We wrote THE SAINTS AND THE CALL TO FRIENDSHIP WITH CHRIST for Catholic families, so that they might have a beautiful resource to help them examine God’s unique and personal invitation to follow Him, revealed in our feelings.
Thank you for being here!
In Christ Jesus,