People of a certain age have children who are now adults. Their kids are establishing careers, families, and planning for the future. They are more and more becoming their own persons – and the parent-child relationship is giving way to the peer-peer relationship – at least in some part and form. Some of my friends insist on the parent-child dynamic.
Among my friends, some now grandparents, there is range of reactions to the sometimes expressed impatience of their children for their unfolding life to take shape. Some of my friends offer up wisdom from the wellspring of their experience and are content that they have done what is theirs to do. Others of my friends offer their wisdom and become disturbed or angry when their words are not well received.
Some of the children of my friends are straying from the faith traditions of their family, answering the siren’s call of an increasingly secular world: “Don’t worry, we will do church and Sunday school next year if he kids don’t make the youth soccer travel squad.” Perhaps the decisions encompass what my friends would consider sinful behavior. The range of responses vary. One hopes the responses include prayer, patience, and is free of anger.
The details and circumstances are different for life within the fraternity of friars, but the dynamic is similar. St. Francis understood the poison that is anger and its detrimental effects on the community.
Admonition Eleven: Let No One Be Corrupted by the Evil of Another
1 Nothing should displease a servant of God except sin. 2 And no matter how another person may sin, if a servant of God becomes disturbed and angry because of this and not because of charity, he is storing up guilt for himself. 3 That servant of God who does not become angry or disturbed at anyone lives correctly without anything of his own. 4 Blessed is the one for who nothing remains except for him to return to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.