Friday, August 12, 2016

Care for Sick Parents and Family Members

898.  In the Holy Scriptures, we read: "With all your heart honour your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.  Remember that through your parents you were born; how can you repay what they have given to you?" (Sir 7:27-28).  Respecting parents means relating to them with love, especially when they are weak and in need of assistance, for example, in old age.

899. In teaching about the family, Metropolitan Andrey emphasized the responsibility of children towards parents:

Good Christians are in life able to keep God's fourth commandment to "Honour your father and your mother" even when parents are not god and, God forbid, are not deserving of respect; children are to respect them all the same, for such is God's law.  Christians know how bitter the fate of those who had not honoured their parents  [Pastoral Letter On Marriage and Family, February 17, 1902]

Metropolitan Andrey also cautioned children thus: "May God forbid that there should be any godless children among us who could dare one to to disrespect their parents or worse, raise their hands against them.  God forbid that any parents should have reason to curse their children!" [ibid]

900.  Children ought to take care of  their parents in their illnesses and provide them material and moral support in their old age. "My child, help you father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if his mind fails, be patient with him; because you have all your faculties do not despise him . . . Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord" (Sir 3:12-13, 16). Children ought to remember that respect and love for one's parents carries an obligation to look after them for the duration of their lives.  No one can ever be relieved of this duty.  If parents have already left this life, then children are obliged to conduct a Christian funeral, carry out their final wishes, pray for them, look after their grave sites, and remember the anniversary of their deaths.

From Christ, Our Pascha, Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church

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