Phillip Garside Category

Christmas Decorating and Mystagogy

By Phillip Garside As a Christian parent, one of the stressors of Christmas is helping children distinguish between the cultural holiday and the religious import. For young children, cognitively explaining the distinctions may simply sow confusion.

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Parenthood as a Charism

By Phillip Garside All of us know the “parent-child relationship” from the child’s end. The target audience of this blog would do well to remember that their charism and gift to the church is to know that relationship from the parent’s end. It is our gift to experience all of the misfires and victories of […]

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To Mark the Days and Seasons

By Phillip Garside As the school year amps up, having multiple children in multiple schools means that multi-tier schedules are reasserting their dominance over our digital calendars. Society is geared to the individual, not the community. Unchecked, society’s incursion onto our family digital calendar will tear the family in 16 different directions. Our calendars can […]

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Night Prayers

By Phillip Garside Our second child did not sleep for the first three years of his life. When I say “did not sleep” I mean he slept maybe two or three hours a night, but rarely more than 30 minutes at a time. The boy had certain sensory stimulation and processing issues that made it […]

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Good for the Body, Good for the Soul

By Phillip Garside Children’s first relationship with food is pleasure and displeasure. Then they learn another distinction, “good for you” and “bad for you.” Their curiosity leads them to the painful truth that pleasurable food is not always healthy. In fact, it is far more often unhealthy, and vice versa. Parents use this dietary lesson […]

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Families, Pharisees, and Tax Collectors

By Phillip Garside All parents should support one another. Sometimes, we are tempted to say with the Pharisee, “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity … or even like this tax collector.” This can be the case when we see people whose parenting style or priorities within the […]

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Fasting For Teens

By Phillip Garside It is unfortunate that the age Catholics begin their Lenten obligation to abstain and fast (14 years old) aligns perfectly with developmentally-scheduled teen rebelliousness and sophomoric skepticism. Any insistence that fasting is “the law of the church” simply foments teen defiance. Rather than seeing this conflict as a hurdle to be overcome, […]

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