Save me from pop psychology.
You know, the quick, superficial advice given in agony aunt columns or in twenty dollar books found in the motivation or self help section at Dymocks. Say affirmations, be affectionate, put it out to the Universe.
The suggestions may be helpful ( though I am a bit dubious about putting it out to the Universe!) but they are superficial; band aids that seem to apply to every situation and to promise a fix…when in fact, the band aids apply to very few situations – every situation is different, there is no one fix, we should look for principles and reflection, for band aids can end up masking a problem.
Ask me how I know.
Save me, especially from pop psychology masked as a homily. That one chance per week, for many people, to hear the word of God and to have a connection made with the Divine, should not be marred by popular psychology and tips on family life that can be gleaned from the latest self help and family books and that are devoid of any depth.
We could hear about the Divine, about devotion to the Holy Family.
Or we could hear the latest popular thought on families , out of the latest parenting and family advice book.
Guess which is the most appropriate for Holy Mass.
Guess which one we will not hear elsewhere. And why it is so important we hear the Scriptural message, not the current popular superficial message, at Holy Mass.
And ask me how I know.
“Our continuing catechesis on prayer leads us, during this Christmas season, to reflect on the place of prayer in the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we learn to contemplate the mystery of God’s presence and to grow as faithful disciples of Christ. The Gospels present Mary as the supreme model of prayerful meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life; in praying the Rosary, in fact, we unite ourselves to her contemplation of those mysteries in faith and hope. Saint Joseph fulfilled his vocation as the father of the Holy Family by teaching Jesus the importance of quiet fidelity to work, prayer and observance of the precepts of the Law. Jesus’ unique relationship with his heavenly Father was reflected in the prayer life of the Holy Family and stands at the heart of all Christian prayer. May the example of the Holy Family inspire all Christian families to be schools of prayer, where parents and children alike come to know that closeness to God which we joyfully celebrate in these days of Christmas.” The Holy Father, Feast of the Holy Family, 2011.