Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 537 2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by cre- ating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for edu- cation in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery—the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the “material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.” 31 Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them: He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who disciplines his son will profit by him. 32 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 33 2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a hu­ man being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies. 2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. 34 Awholesome family life can foster in­ terior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life. 2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompa­ nies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. 35 The parish is the Eucharistic 31 CA 36 § 2. 32 Sir 30:1-2. 33 Eph 6:4. 34 LG 11 § 2. 35 Cf. LG 11. 1804 1939 1656 2179