On November 21, the Church celebrates the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Anne and St. Joachim presented their long-awaited child to the holy Temple in Jerusalem. Their young daughter was a special gift, a miraculous gift from God, as St. Anne was well beyond her years to conceive a child.
Their neighbors were well aware of the disappointment of Anne and Joachim that they did not have any children. According to some writings, the priests in the Temple suspected that Joachim might not have been as holy as he should be, and that the lack of conceiving a child could be a punishment from God.
A Perfect Child
The evidence that Mary was a special gift from God, however, was obvious to many, but especially to Anne and Joachim. Most obvious was that Mary never committed any sin whatsoever. Not in the slightest degree did she ever offend God.
Mary was the perfect example of a person born without Original Sin, the one so favored that not the slightest imperfection ever was observed. In fact, it was this incredible human perfection that Anne and Joachim recognized that made them realize they needed to give up Mary at a very young age.
While Mary lived for only a few years in her parents’ home, her innate wisdom and perfection could not be hidden from the other family members and neighborhood community.
It was Anne’s and Joachim’s realization that she needed to be protected from the curiosity of others, that made them decide to take Mary to the private, protective, hidden and holy life of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
Innocence of The New Born
All Catholic parents are aware of the total innocence of their newly born children, especially after Baptism. The total trust in their parents of the very young, their total belief that they will be protected from harm by their parents, and their unspoken and unexpressed love for their parents are remarkable.
Parents recognize this gift of innocence, and would like to keep it always so.
Interaction with the world, and the temptations of the flesh and the devil, bring a sense to the parents of sadness and of anxiety regarding the changes in their children as they meet the outside world.
Parents realize they cannot, and should not, shelter their children in a “temple” of any kind, but rather they need to provide in the home a temple of protection as well as a temple of learning how to deal with the temptations of the world.
Temple of the Home
The “temple” that parents need to provide for their innocent children is a Catholic home to protect them, and a Catholic education shaped by the graces God has given His holy Church as well as the graces given to parents through the Sacrament of Matrimony.
By incorporating the truths of God and His Holy Church into the various textbooks, into every subject, parents can follow in the steps of St. Anne and St. Joachim.
The temple of the home certainly can be a goal for homeschooling parents. Surely with the help of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Catholic parents can rely on their presentation of God’s truths to be believed, accepted, and followed by their children.