Friday, July 31, 2015

The Family Fully Alive in Faith

Family life today is both changing and being changed by the society in which it lives.

But nothing can be more satisfying and fulfilling than the love, respect, consideration and security found within a happy family.

A family is where we learn and grow and become the special people God created us to be. The family is called to live out this vocation in a “domestic church,” a community of life and love, with each member helping each other to get to heaven.

So, how can we do this? How do we become fully alive in the faith? We need to get back to just “being a family” and doing the simple, ordinary things, like blessing each other before leaving home in the morning and thanking God for the gift of each other.

Taking time to be present and listen with the heart is another way to acknowledge the dignity and value of each family member. When we are truly present to one another and celebrate who we are as a family in Christ — without letting schedules or timelines get in the way — there is a beautiful grace received in this little, but great, nest: the family.

I can still hear my father saying to me: “Tu vales mucho” (You are worth much). As a child, these words really affirmed me as I navigated the world around me. And, though there were times when I did not feel that I was worth much, my father’s words always echoed in my childhood memory and helped to bring me back to the reality of my value as a member of the body of Christ.
In my little “domestic church,” my husband and I bless each other and our children every single day.

Our youngest is now 19 years old. We have lived some very difficult and joy-filled moments in our marriage and in the lives of our children. Thankfully, our faith has been at the center of our home throughout the years; and because we’ve prayed together, we’ve stayed together.

How can we celebrate our families, our children and the God-given talents within our families? How can youth express themselves and show the world what it means to be a Christian family today?

The Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich., recently sponsored a national contest, inviting students in grades four through 12 to share their family stories on the theme “The Family Fully Alive in the Faith” by using art, writing, music and video. Prizes included educational awards and scholarships sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. (Learn more at DioKZoo.org/domesticchurch.)

In order to share and celebrate more families as the “domestic church,” we also have created a monthly “Domestic Church” e-newsletter. It is simple in format and incorporates three important areas: marriage, family and prayer (see Newsletters).
God bless our domestic churches!
 
 

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