Thursday, May 21, 2015

Future Depends on Family Life

May, the month of the family and Mary's month. A beautiful month but we don't always hear beautiful things about the family. A  professor emeritus in the Peace Weekly relates some of the problems we face.  

We had killings in Seoul of parents for inheritance last year; almost half of abuse of the elderly was committed by sons. A  country that was know for its filial piety is no longer seen as such. Last year  police department statistics say that over 5% of the murders are in the family--more than the United States and England.

We like Cain have the tragic possibility of disobeying the call of God: selfish acts we  see in ourselves daily. Those who commit murder are not conscious of the connection we have with each other. The inability to see the strong connections  we have with one another are replaced by individualism and selfishness even in families, weakening family bonds.

Industry in our capitalistic society makes us worshipers of money and its slave. The sudden development of technology has brought into the family TV, and the smart phone which have become family. This ends family communication, the family's values and ethics give way to  each his own understanding of family. This is not only a Korean problem but a world wide problem, and the synod on the family which began last year and will continue this October, has this as one of the issues.

Families in Korea have serious ailments, and the  wounds  have to be faced.  We have one of the lowest birthrates in the world and the number of suicides are highest. The older one is, the  greater are the chances of suicide.  

Family problems arise in the eyes of many in the desire to succeed which is the answer to everything. From an early age  study is first; fixed in the head is competition, and what follows is stress and  depression. Number one reason for deaths among the youth is suicides, and the  number of young people who have thought of suicide continues to rise. Young people who have  stopped going to school and those who have run away from home are many.  

Over  20,000 have  run away from home and  over 60% are girls. Recently a girl of 14, a runaway, when she ran out of money sold her body for sex, and was killed  shocking the nation. This is one of  the reason the bishops in synod will be considering children on the streets. 

When adult this stress does not disappear; this way of living follows them in adult life and they continue to be self-absorbed.  After marriage rather than  solving their  problems  with love and understanding we often have violence. Instead of the beautiful understanding of marriage as the joining of two for a life time is destroyed, and we have separation and divorce and the violence that is seen in the family is handed down to children.

Our professor concludes asking for prayers for the coming synod on the family that it may help us in treating some of the problems families have in society, and hopes it will be a light to us in Korea. Pope John Paul said the future depends on family life.

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