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In the family, one sometimes observes a level of competition between children for parent attention, for acknowledgement of their abilities. Somehow, children seem to internalize that the attention given to one member of the family diminishes the attention given to another. In this way, children can often sound like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable. Parents who provide continual reminders to their children that they are loved for who they are, not for what they do, help children develop a healthy spirituality.
As a family, talk about what it means to compare oneself to another. Discuss whether it is helpful to compare oneself to another. In what ways might this be positive? (when it motivates one to use one’s talents) In what circumstances might this be unhelpful? (when it proves discouraging, when it prevents one from valuing the abilities of another)
As a family, read today’s Gospel, Luke 18:9-14. Discuss: What was wrong about the prayer of the Pharisee? How can we emulate the prayer of the tax collector?