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Friday, January 2, 2009

Pope Benedict Speaks to Families

On the Feast of the Holy Family the pope gave parents much food for thought about forming their homes in imitation of the Holy Family at Nazareth which the pope said, "merits the title 'holy' because its sole desire was to fulfil the will of God, incarnate in the adorable presence of Jesus." He also described the Holy Family as a "model of conjugal love, collaboration, sacrifice, trust in Divine Providence, industriousness, solidarity, of all those values safeguarded and promoted by the family, contributing in a basic way to the formation of the fabric of every society."Just think of the holiness of a society made up of families who work to develop those virtues and especially conform themselves to God's will.

The pope went on to say that, "The family is certainly a grace of God, which allows what He Himself is to be revealed: Love. An eternally gratuitous love that sustains faithfully and without limits, even in moments of difficulty or discouragement. These qualities are eminently incarnate in the Holy Family in which Jesus came to the world and was raised, coming to wisdom with the thoughtful care of Mary and the faithful tutelage of St. Joseph."

The pope did not fail to call families to live the challenging aspects of marriage saying, "Dear families do not let love, openness to life, and the incomparable bonds that unite your home be corrupted. Ask this continually of the Lord, praying together, that your intentions be illuminated by faith and exalted by divine grace on the path toward holiness. In this way, with the joy of sharing everything in love, you will give the world a beautiful witness of how important the family is for the human being and for society. The Pope is by your side, asking especially of the Lord for those in each family who have the greatest needs of health, work, comfort, and companionship."

The family is under increasing attack in the culture of death - from the murder of its youngest members, to the corruption of family members through pornography, sex education, and contraception. The culture of death seems to hold sway, but we put our trust in a faithful God who will never abandon us.

While you are thinking about making a New Year's Resolution, how about praying the rosary every day that the American family might be strengthened and come to resemble more and more the Holy Family of Nazareth. Start with your own family.

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