C is for Children

Then someone said to the Prophet,
“Speak to us of Children.”

He replied,

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

“You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

“You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.”
— Khalil Gibran The Prophet

Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence. — Plato

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the one whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
— Psalm 127:3-5

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.  — Carl Jung

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father. —  Pope John XXIII

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.  — Fr. Ted Hesburgh

[Funny Times is a humor magazine with cartoons and columnists that make you laugh, moan, scream and cry. They are kind enough to allow me to reprint the occasional cartoon.  Of course, humor — like beauty — is often in the eye or ear of the beholder.  http://www.funnytimes.com]

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Humor, Quotations, Songs and Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to C is for Children

  1. How easily we forget the truth and wisdom of Gibran’s words. It is so tempting to want to mold our children….even our adult children….into graven images of ourselves. How much better to see each one as unique children of God, valuable for all of their own qualities. How much better to place them in the hands of God where they will be gently led to serve His higher purpose.
    Thank you, Fr. Paul, for reminding us.

  2. Linda Trill says:

    Good one. Sharing on fb. Thanks

  3. Reading most of Gibran’s books back in the late 70’s actually helped me revisit God. The many prayers of my mother helped me commit to a life-long visit, the desire to never leave His sight.

    My mother for years prayed I would say the rosary, but I was always too busy. Then, shortly before she passed away at 96, I joined the Knights of Columbus and joined some of them, along with several women parishioners, each Sunday before Mass in rosary recital. Now Sharon and I read the Bible and say the rosary daily since 2012 began. My dear mother I know is so proud of us!

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