Time for family

Jacek Pulikowski

After having been proposed to write articles for the 'Family' column in the weekly 'Niedziela' I immediately thought that it was nice that 'Niedziela' wanted to do something for families. It would be nicer if families would want to do something for Sunday. If our families celebrated Sundays together they would be healthier, more joyful, firmer and happier (in spite of their usual weekly rush, mad pursuit of life, which families allowed to be imposed on them). And this time is needed so that family can function in a normal way (by the way, I wonder what 'normal functioning of family' means these days - I will continue this issue).

Time. What is it?

Someone can say that time is some measure that man invented and it enables him to describe changes in the material world. That's correct, but what does a concrete man have from this? It seems that we are living in such a rush that we have no time to reflect (even for a while...) on ... time. Without a peaceful reflection on time one cannot invent new 'layers' of time.
Now I remember an anecdote about a woodcutter who grumbled about his terribly hard work, which he did using a blunt axe. When asked why he did not sharpen it he answered, 'I have so much to do that I have no time to sharpen it.

The Servant of God

Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski said, 'People say: time is money, but I say to you: time is love'. So time, which is selflessly given, can be a measure of love in our life. And this is the foundation of life and man's happiness. The words of Primate Wyszynski have been haunting me for a long time. It means that the thing I devote most time to is my real love. Naturally, man needs several hours of sleep, must work or learn for several hours, must fulfil his duties... But there is the so-called free time, time to spare. And actually, if we planned to spend spare time carefully, taking into account the good of family (i.e. with love) we would not waste it, would not 'spend' it (the word 'spend' has a pejorative meaning for me, the Polish word is also used in such expressions as 'to flick a fly off the table' or 'to abort a foetus'). Therefore, it is better to speak about 'devoting' time than 'spending' time.


The research that was conducted in Poland shows that an average father devotes a few minutes daily to talk to his children (the content of the talks has not been examined) and he spends almost four hours watching television. Children will lose if they compete with a computer... According to the words of the Primate of the Millennium these fathers love television sets and computers more than their children (first I wrote their 'own' children but children are not our possessions; they are only given to bring them up). Every father would bridle at the question: will he love television set more than his children? Most of fathers would certainly answer that children are more important. As a matter of fact, nobody has asked fathers such a question...
So I am asking this question to you, dear reader. Do not answer without considering the question but think peacefully before you answer (because you need not give the answer to me...). Draw conclusions from your answer. Have courage to give an honest answer to yourself whether you love your children more than a television set, a computer, fish and beer with your colleagues or even another service in church... (here write your ways of 'spending' time). If your balance does not favour children it is high time you did something with this.

Finally, concrete advice

Tell each of your children that you want to spend half an hour with him/her next Sunday in the way the child wants. But do not be surprised to see extreme joy at home.

"Niedziela" 44/2006

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl