Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

May 31, Visitation


-One out of every four commercials contains a message about appearance.

-In the U.S. the average age girls start dieting is eight.

-A recent survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that many women think plastic surgery is the best way to secure getting ahead in tough economic times rather than through experience, further education, or training.

-One of most popular gifts for graduating high school girls are breast implants.

Of course, parents have the responsibilities of both protecting and preparing their girls (and boys!) for the world—a balance that is not easy! There are endless suggestions for parents. Teresa Tomeo, one of the show hosts gives much practical guidance to parents in her books Noise and Truth for Teens.

Sure, girls want attention. They want to be beautiful and told they are beautiful. These are healthy desires. However, girls will always be unfulfilled until they know they are beautiful in God’s eyes, and they are loved as they are.

An incredible example of this transforming knowledge is found in the life of Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, an Italian girl who died in 1990 when she was 18. She was vivacious. She loved sports, and many boys were interested in her! The source of her beauty and the powerful attraction people had to her was her love for Jesus. She was nicknamed “Luce” which means “Light”. One of Badano’s doctors observed that her eyes, full of light, joyfully proclaimed the victory of life over death. A visiting cardinal asked her where the light in her eyes came from. She responded, “I try to love Jesus as much as I can.”

No doubt, Jesus had shown Badano His special love for her, and she was seeking with all her heart to return that love. It is a love that fills a person with joy and peace, even in the midst of intense suffering, such as Badano experienced from the sudden bone cancer that took her life. This is a love that shows the person God’s goodness. The person then wants only to please God by embracing His will for them. It is in this abandonment and surrender to God’s will that the person finds fulfillment and is transformed, so that they radiate God who is in them. Mary is our perfect example in her prayer, the Magnificat, remembered in today’s Feast of the Visitation. Because of Mary’s perfect surrender to God, He bestowed on this humble and simple woman the greatest of graces, and God became present through her not only physically, but as Mary said, her soul “magnifies the Lord”!

As parents, we must demonstrate God’s love to our children, first by surrendering our own lives to God. The Holy Spirit will then be able to transform us so that we can more perfectly show God to our children and the world! This may sound vague—make a serious effort to identify areas where you do not have complete trust in God...

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