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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Family)

The Holy Family

Return to Marriage/Family/Home Reflctns. | Catholic Life

Reflections: 

Catholic Life Section:

Family / Families

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Family / Families

 

Category
Quotation

Family / Families

"For a father's blessing gives a family firm roots, but a mother's curse uproots the growing plant." (Sirach 3:9)

"And whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Tm. 5:8)

"Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family." (St. Angela Merici)

"The family must be a great school of piety, spirituality, and religious fidelity." (Pope Paul VI)

"The prevailing spirit of the household corresponds with the literature in the home." (St. John Vianney)

"The family is the most ancient institution which God founded in Paradise, when He called the first pair of human being into existence." (St. John Vianney)

"God's love is totally gratuitous. Such therefore should be the love of a couple and the relationship between the members of a family." (Pope John Paul II)

"Happiness is to be found only in the home and in the family circle where God is loved and honored, and everyone loves and helps and cares for the other." (St. Theophane Venard)

"The home must be in accord with the Church, that all harmful influences be withheld from the souls of children. Where there is true piety in the home, purity of morals reigns supreme." (St. John Vianney)

"[T]hose who have the care of the State and of the public good cannot neglect the needs of married people and their families, without bringing great harm upon the State and on the common welfare." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"What a wonderful thing it is when families realize the power they have.. This power works for the sanctification of the world, the mutual sanctification of husband and wife, and the reciprocal influence between parents and children." (Pope John Paul I)

"Genuine happiness of the home is based on love that gives itself and sacrifices itself simply and perseveringly.. This love can be sustained only with the food of faith, and faith is a gift of God that is nourished in prayer and in the Sacraments." (Pope John Paul II)

"This bond of charity was the core of the Holy Family's life, first in the poverty of Bethlehem, then in their exile in Egypt, and later in the house of Nazareth. The Church deeply venerates this Family, and proposes it as the model of all families." (Pope John Paul II)

"[T]he family first of all should be a home of faith and prayer, in which God the Father's presence is sensed, the Word of Jesus is accepted, the Spirit's bond of love is felt, and where the most pure Mother of God is loved and invoked." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"The family does not live its vocation to the full if it is not open to the needs of the community. When its members seal themselves off in a sort of group selfishness, they automatically deprive themselves of the opportunity to grow in love and thus to experience true joy." (Pope John Paul II)

"The family has a special role to play throughout the life of its members, from birth to death. It is truly 'the sanctuary of life: the place in which life - the gift of God - can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth'." (Pope John Paul II)

"The families which do not live by faith seek their peace in the earthly advantages of this life; while the families which live by faith look for those eternal blessings which are promised, and use as pilgrims such advantages of time and of earth as do not fascinate and divert them from God, but rather aid them to endure with greater ease, and to keep down the number of those burdens of the corruptible body which weigh upon the soul." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"If we would attain to charity, the bond of perfection which unites all Christians together in the one great family of God, we must pay heed to those virtues which the Epistle puts before us. We must be full of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty and patience; we must bear with one another and forgive on another, after the example of the Incarnate Word. Then the peace of Christ will dwell not only in our hearts, but in those around us, and our homes will truly become like that of Nazareth, where Mary and Joseph were ever singing in grace to the Lord God." (Gueranger)

"In an ideal home the parents, like Tobias and Sara, beg of God a numerous posterity 'in which Thy name may be blessed forever,' and receive it as a gift from heaven and a precious trust; they strive to instill into their children from their early years a holy fear of God, and true Christian piety; they foster a tender devotion to Jesus, the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Virgin; they teach respect and veneration for holy places and persons. In such a home the children see in their parents a model of an upright, industrious and pious life; they see their parents holily loving each other in Our Lord, see them approach the Holy Sacraments frequently and not only obey the laws of the Church concerning abstinence and fasting, but also observe the spirit of voluntary Christian mortification; they see them pray at home, gathering around them all the family, that common prayer may rise more acceptably to heaven; they find them compassionate towards the distress of others and see them divide with the poor the much or the little they possess." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)

"Let us take our stand in front of that earthly and divine home of holiness, the House of Nazareth. How much we have to learn from the daily life which was led within its walls! What an all-perfect model of domestic society! Here we behold simplicity and purity of conduct, perfect agreement and unbroken harmony, mutual respect and love - not of the false and fleeting kind - but that which finds both its life and its charm in devotedness of service. Here is the patient industry which provides what is required for food and raiment; which does so 'in the sweat of the brow,' which is contented with little, and which seeks rather to diminish the number of its wants than to multiply the sources of its wealth. Better than all, we find there that supreme peace of mind and gladness of soul which never fail to accompany the possession of a tranquil conscience. These are precious examples of goodness, of modesty, of humility, of hard-working endurance, of kindness to others, of diligence in the small duties of daily life, and of other virtues, and once they have made their influence felt they gradually take root in the soul, and in course of time fail not to bring about a happy change of mind and conduct." (Pope Leo XIII, "Laetitiae Sanctae", 1893)

"This mission - to be the first and vital cell of society - the family has received from God. It will fulfill this mission if it appears as the domestic sanctuary of the Church by reason of the mutual affection of its members and the prayer that they offer to God in common, if the whole family makes itself a part of the liturgical worship of the Church, and if it provides active hospitality and promotes justice and other good works for the service of all the brethren in need. Among the various activities of the family apostolate may be enumerated the following: the adoption of abandoned infants, hospitality to strangers, assistance in the operation of schools, helpful advice and material assistance for adolescents, help to engaged couples in preparing themselves better for marriage, catechetical work, support of married couples and families involved in material and moral crises, help for the aged not only by providing them with the necessities of life but also by obtaining for them a fair share of the benefits of an expanding economy. At all times and places but particularly in areas where the first seeds of the Gospel are being sown, or where the Church is just beginning, or is involved in some serious difficulty, Christian families can give effective testimony to Christ before the world by remaining faithful to the Gospel and by providing a model of Christian marriage through their whole way of life." (Second Vatican Council)

"Wherefore, as the Apostle has it, as Christ is the head of the Church, so is the man the head of the woman; and as the Church is subject to Christ, who embraces her with a most chaste and undying love, so also should wives be subject to their husbands, and be loved by them in turn with a faithful and constant affection. In like manner does the Church temper the use of parental and domestic authority, that it may tend to hold children and servants to their duty, without going beyond bounds. For, according to Catholic teaching, the authority of our heavenly Father and Lord is imparted to parents and masters, whose authority, therefore, not only takes its origin and force from Him, but also borrows its nature and character. Hence, the Apostle exhorts children to 'obey their parents in the Lord, and honor their father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise'; and he admonishes parents: 'And you, fathers, provoke not your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord.' Again, the apostle enjoins the divine precept on servants and masters, exhorting the former to be 'obedient to their lords according to the flesh of Christ... with a good will serving, as to the Lord'; and the latter, to 'forbear threatenings, knowing that the Lord of all is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with God.' If only all these matters were faithfully observed according to the divine will by all on whom they are enjoined, most assuredly every family would be a figure of the heavenly home, and the wonderful blessings there begotten would not confine themselves to the households alone, but would scatter their riches abroad through the nations.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Quod Apostolici Muneris", 1878)

"Likewise, just as home life, when the law of Christ is observed, flowers in true felicity, so, when the Gospel is cast aside, does it perish miserably and become desolated by vice: 'He that seeketh the law, shall be filled with it: and he that dealeth deceitfully, shall meet with a stumbling block therein' (Ecclesiasticus xxxii: 19). What can there be on earth more serene and joyful than the Christian family? Taking its origin at the Altar of the Lord, where love has been proclaimed a holy and indissoluble bond, the Christian family in the same love nourished by supernal grace is consolidated and receives increase. There is 'marriage honorable in all, and the [nuptial] bed undefiled' (Cf. Hebrews xiii: 4). Tranquil walls resound with no quarreling voices nor do they witness the secret martyrdom which comes when hidden infidelity is laid bare; unquestioning trust turns aside the slings of suspicion; sorrow is assuaged and joy is heightened by mutual affection. Within those sacred precincts children are considered not heavy burdens but sweet pledges of love; no reprehensible motive of convenience, no seeking after sterile pleasure, brings about the frustration of the gift of life nor causes to fall into disuse the sweet names of brother and sister. With what solicitude do the parents take care that the children not only grow in physical vigor but also that, following in the footsteps of their forbears whose memory is often recalled to them, they may shine with the light which profession of the pure faith and moral goodness impart to them. Moved by the numerous benefits received, such children consider it their paramount duty to honor their parents, to be attentive to their desires, to be the staff of their old age, to rejoice their gray hairs with an affection which, unquenched by death, will be made more glorious and more complete in the mansion of Heaven. The members of the Christian family, neither querulous in adversity nor ungrateful in prosperity, are ever filled with confidence in God to Whose sway they yield willing obedience, in Whose will they acquiesce and upon Whose help they wait not in vain." (Pope Pius XII, "Sertum Laetitiae", 1939)

"It is a most sacred law of nature that a father should provide food and all necessaries for those whom he has begotten; and, similarly, it is natural that he should wish that his children, who carry on, so to speak, and continue his personality, should be by him provided with all that is needful to enable them to keep themselves decently from want and misery amid the uncertainties of this mortal life. Now, in no other way can a father effect this except by the ownership of productive property, which he can transmit to his children by inheritance. A family, no less than a State, is, as We have said, a true society, governed by an authority peculiar to itself, that is to say, by the authority of the father. Provided, therefore, the limits which are prescribed by the very purposes for which it exists be not transgressed, the family has at least equal rights with the State in the choice and pursuit of the things needful to its preservation and its just liberty. We say, 'at least equal rights'; for, inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature. If the citizens, if the families on entering into association and fellowship, were to experience hindrance in a commonwealth instead of help, and were to find their rights attacked instead of being upheld, society would rightly be an object of detestation rather than of desire. The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)

Also See: Marriage | Children / Youth | Parents / Parenting | Fathers / Fatherhood | Mothers / Motherhood | Holy Family (Prayer) | Fostering Vocations / Vocations in the Family | Parental Responsibility for Catholic Education | Primacy of Husband / Obedience of Wife | Sacrament of Marriage (Reflections) | Sacraments Section | Family (Topical Scripture)

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