Aleteia

What the mother of St. Louis said that highlights our most important parental duty

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Queen Blanche of Castile’s words to her son can inspire us today to remember what is most important.

On August 25, as the Church celebrates St. Louis, let us be reminded of the words of his mother, Queen Blanche of Castile:

“I love you, my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin.”

These words remind us of the supreme duty of every parent, revealing the very depth of the Christian faith, where the salvation of the soul prevails over any other consideration.

At the same time they may seem scandalously insensitive in their utter disregard for the divine gift of life and a conviction that while the soul can be redeemed, the body will be lost forever. 

This is not to force any parent into actually making a choice between the salvation of the soul and the physical well-being of their child, but to merely remind us of where our parental duty ultimately lies.

Let the souls of our children never be unloved

We invest a lot (both financially and affectively) into the health and development of our children. No price is too high. But do we attribute the same amount of care to their spiritual well-being? Are we willing to renounce things in our culture that may corrupt their young minds and hearts? Do we know how to put their peace of mind before our own pleasure and interests, as we do in the case of their physical comfort? 

Finally, do we pay attention to our children’s spiritual growth? Do we demonstrate enough tact and diligence when detecting the first signs of trouble? What do we do to encourage them and protect them from feeling insecure? Do we do enough for their development of character and virtue?

Let us follow the inspirational words of the heroic Blanche of Castile in seeking to establish this balance, and never overlook the spiritual well-being of our children.

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