Monday, June 06, 2011

The importance of the family.


The Holy Father speaks in Croatia.
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Yesterday morning the neighbors prepared for their son's graduation party.  They moved in shortly after I moved into this house, so I watched the kids grow up.  They are a wonderful family and the boys well behaved.  Interestingly enough, they rarely go to church on Sunday.  I know the boys were confirmed in the Lutheran church - yet there is hardly a Sunday anyone attends church.  My sister's family is the same way, as are many American families, Catholic or Protestant.  People fail to realize the worship that is due to God on Sundays, but more seriously, their indifference to the Sunday obligation reveals a certain secularism, a compartmentalizing of religion.  Such attitudes affect societal morals and values far more than they realize or understand.
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That said, I think the Holy Father's words in Zagreb are important for all families to listen to and to put into practice.
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"Be courageous!"
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In today's society the presence of exemplary Christian families is more necessary and urgent than ever. Unfortunately, we are forced to acknowledge the spread of a secularization which leads to the exclusion of God from life and the increasing disintegration of the family, especially in Europe. Freedom without commitment to the truth is made into an absolute, and individual well-being through the consumption of material goods and transient experiences is cultivated as an ideal, obscuring the quality of interpersonal relations and deeper human values; love is reduced to sentimental emotion and to the gratification of instinctive impulses, without a commitment to build lasting bonds of reciprocal belonging and without openness to life. We are called to oppose such a mentality!

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Alongside what the Church says, the testimony and commitment of the Christian family - your concrete testimony - is very important, especially when you affirm the inviolability of human life from conception until natural death, the singular and irreplaceable value of the family founded upon matrimony and the need for legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and educating them. Dear families, be courageous! Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person! - Catholic Online

8 comments:

  1. I remember when Pope Benedict became Pope--I thought he might be German and cold. Mea culpa. He is the complete antithesis, isn't he? So warm, compassionate and affectionate, as a sherpard should be, don't you think? Dear familites, be courageous indeed...

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  2. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Maria, I agree completely about Pope Benedict - he is a true father, compassionate in the proper sense, wise, and warm. May God grant him many more years to guide the Church.

    Terry, let me tell you why I stayed away from Mass yesterday morning. Usually go to the Sat. evening Mass, but was away & didn't get back in time. Yesterday's Mass was a "family Mass" -- at these Masses there is a lot of noise, folkie-happy-clappy 70s music that no one sings except the choir -- you get the idea. My husband went though - he's more tolerant of this stuff than I am. I'm a musician, classically trained as a pianist, and served my parish as organist for many years. There was no interest on the directors' part to explore chant or polyphony or much Latin repertoire. There were lots of arguments, back-biting, gossip, etc. Once an elderly priest was preaching at Mass and these 2 women spent the entire time making fun of him. I could go on, but I think you will understand that I eventually got fed up and left. They didn't even give me a card. So ... I know it's not Jesus' fault, and I hope He understands my reason for staying home and watching the Pope's visit to Croatia on TV. I wanted to feel that I'd actually, you know, been to Mass.

    chloesmom

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  3. Chloe's Mom:

    I am so sorry for what you have experienced. I am starting to think I must be crazy. I go to daily Mass. People bring their children. I am horrified by the noise level and disrespect. It is more that simply noise. It is children running up and down the aisles of church, during the consecration. Is it simply too much too expect that I might be able to worship my God in silence? Day in and day out. I know I sound like an old fogey, but when I was a child, my Mother would NEVER have brought any of us to Mass if we were of an age that renedered us incapable of proper conduct. I confronted them. THEY, of course, were indignant. The chuch is their daycare center, their amusement park, their playground. I feel like either I have lost my mind, or the world has. Kyrie Eleison. What can we do to restore respect for the house of God? Does anyone know? Can anyone help me?

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  4. I know it is terribly hard...

    Bur Iremember readingin St Therese's Story of a Soul how she wuold be praying inthe chapel and this other nun was makingsome sort of clicking sounds, be it rosary beads or dentures or what...drove her NUTS :)

    If it can drive a saint crazy it will drive us crazy :)

    What I couldn't believe was this year during Easter Mass some kid had a squeeky toy..a LOUD squeeky toy..thanks goodness they weren't sitting next to me or I would have caused a scene by removing the offensive device from the child. then you all could come visit me in jail. :)

    Sara

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  5. lol, Sara. God, give me patience!!!

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  6. Sara, that I would liked to have seen. :)

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  7. Anonymous12:31 PM

    Sara and Maria, thanks for helping put things in perspective, especially mentioning Ste. Therese. The saints are so wonderful at helping us who are coping with the same B.S. they had to endure - and I will definitely remember your comments next time I feel like skipping Mass. Maria, that sounds a bit like my parish - actually asking people to s how a bit of respect gets what I call The Look - usually down the nose, with a "how-dare- you-you-old-busybody" attitude. (I'm 64 w/ grey hair, maybe that's the thing). Anyway, let's pray for each other as we navigate the rocks and shoals of parish life, and hopefully we will some day tell stories to each other in Heaven! God bless you, ladies. (BTW, Sara, do you have 3 cats? So do we! One of them is named Chloe.)

    Chloesmom

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  8. We have so much more than Therese to contend with, than did Therese don't you think? lol. Chloes Mom--I am of a certain age. I think we remember when church really was a place of silence and reverence. I am thinking now about starting a blog called Restore Reverence.

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