Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Blog 197 The Christian Family
Blog # 197 The Christian Family I think the document on Christian education issued by the Second Vatican Council in 1965 can be a good source of inspiration and guidance for Catholics today in their effort to share their faith with our next generation in the context of a Catholic family life. Here are a few paragrphs from that document as samples. "Parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves upon parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and neighbor that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among the children. Hence the family is the first school of those social virtues which each society needs. "It is particularly in the Christian family that from their earliest years children should be taught, according to the faith received in Baptism, to have a knowledge of God, to worship God, and to love their neighbor. Here, too, they gain their first experience of wholesome human companionship and of the Church. Finally, it is through the family that they are gradually introduced into civic partnership with their fellow human beings, and into the People of God. Let parents, then, clearly recognize how vital a truly Christian family is for the life and development of God's own people. Aware of the importance of the Christian family, we must also be aware of the serious threats families face in our particular moment of history. There are persons and movements in our nation today that are very active in attempts to change weaken and discredit , and in some instances to wipe out our traditional notion of the family unit of father mother and children living together and sharing a close and special love. High percentages of children are growing up in the United States today with no experience of the type and reality of the family life most of us have known in the past. This phenomenon is bound to have significant consequences upon our future as a nation. It is far more difficult to create and maintain a Christian family life today than it was in the years gone by. Yet precisely because of the circumstances that make it so difficult, the importance of Christian family life is heightened rather than diminished." Pope John Paul II requested that we pray the prayer some of us remember from the days it was used after every Mass, the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel for the casting out of evil and the protection of the Church. I have included that prayer here: "St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke, we humbly pray, Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen!