The Holy Family is the ideal image for each family. Today, the Church wants to awaken the exemplary spirit which prevailed in Nazareth so that it may prevail in all our families: Father Joseph Kentenich, the founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, often said: “The history of the nations teaches us an important fact: Society and the family are saved and ruined together.”
Today, we give a great deal of importance to the great economic, social and political problems in our country and on our continent. But we do not pay the same attention to the deeper and more fatal illness: The destruction of the family which is the model and foundation of society.
The family is the model of any healthy society. God thought of humanity as one great family, not only because he is Father, but also because God himself is family. In this divine Family, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit live infinitely happy because they love each other with an infinite love.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God. Hence, he was created to live, like God, in a family where personal love reigns. The family is the model for society because it is the perfect image of the Blessed Trinity.
The family is the foundation of society because through family life we learn to love, we learn to be a child, to be a sibling, to be a parent. The family is where a man’s future social attitude and religious attitude are decided. Through the family one learns how to treat others not as things, but as persons; how to receive and give love.
If love from the parents is lacking, the child will later on be an insecure person lacking in confidence and introverted. If the father was rude, the child will rebel against any authority which reminds him of his father, including God.
Because of bad experiences with their own father, many are not able to accept the Gospel of Christ or believe in a God who is a loving Father.
Relationships with siblings are also decisive. Through siblings’ interactions, a child learns to liberate himself from selfishness and from the tendency to dominate others. One who grows in a healthy family will very likely develop healthy emotional attachments. Family provides the roots that allow the tree of one’s personality to stand firm during the hurricanes of life.
Therefore, we cannot create a more Christian society in the nation if we neglect the families. All those who do not strive for a family united in love are destroying the nation.
Spouses who do not dialog or dialog very little with each other or with their children are destroying the nation. Those who have converted the television into the absolute dictator of the home are destroying the nation.
The parents who have made their home into a simple boarding house where eating and sleeping are the only things in common…..they are destroying the nation.
The Holy Family of Nazareth is the eminent model for all other families. The Lord who comes to build a new world, spends the first 30 years of his life in a family striving to live the new Christian ideal of the family. He only preaches and ministers publicly for three years. We should learn the importance of family, of our own family, from Christ himself.
Therefore, let us ask Jesus, Mary, and Joseph for our families and for all families in the nation. May Our Lord protect them, bless them, and educate them according to the spirit of the Nazareth family.
In addition, let us give thanks to God for all those persons who provided us with an atmosphere of family in our life, for those who helped us grow into free and united personalities, and who motivated us with their love both within and outside of our home.
Questions for Reflection
1. Do we watch TV while during meals?
2. Do we have moments where we dialog as a family?
3. What were my family experiences like?
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Translation: Carlos Cantú
Edited by: Catholic.net Staff Writer
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