From the Desk of the Chaplain,
The Family - Our
Hope for Society
The Advent Season helps us to prepare
well for the birth of the Savior and the Feast of the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The liturgy of the Church engages us in deeper
ways of prayer along with a sincere sacramental confession of one's sins
Let us not forget that the family is a
divine and natural union of a man and a woman. God blesses such
self-giving for love and for life saying, "Be fertile and multiply: fill
the earth and subdue it." (Gen. 1:28)
Some observations on family life follow
as practical tips to help families cope with the demands of modern life.
Each presumes a mature and Christian outlook on life and the world. The
New Testament view, not the worldview given us in the Wall Street
Journal, is needed or these observations will seem sheer nonsense.
A satisfying family life does not come
from consumerism or an affluent lifestyle more toys for kids, or adult
toys snowmobiles, motorcycles, watercrafts, etc. Deep down sufficient
material things would suffice for better marriages and warmer
relationships with our Lord and all family members.
A Christian family must be a domestic
church or small faith community. The total gospel must believed in all
of life not only on Sunday morning. The Lord's Day of Rest, and all of
daily family life, takes its cue from Christ and His Church: how
Catholic lives are to live and be counter-cultural toward purely earthly
For Christians, what matters most is
intimacy with God and other people, particularly family members. The two
may not be separated. Watch with whom, where, and with what parents
spend their time most. There your heart will be. No dad will ever say on
his deathbed, "I wish I had spent more time with my friends and
Families grow in holiness and happiness
when they do things together pray, read, study, work, play, sing
together. Note that Jesus returned to Nazareth and was obedient to Mary
and Joseph. Because he did so, the Bible tells us, "He grew in age,
wisdom and grace."
A family that prays together stays
together. Statistics tell us clearly that the father has a greater
success in faith preservation of children and youth than Mom. A dad who
worships our Father in heaven faithful is enabled to maintain his
authority over his family with little difficulty.
Parents must insist children and youth
attend Holy Mass and devotions with the family. You fail them if you
send the without one of the parents accompanying them. Parents are
responsible that the young be faithful in this always. This is equally
so for regular monthly or at least bi-monthly confession. Dad must tend
to this seriously. Youth need this help and so do parents. It is better
to form a delicate conscience than a lax one that denies one's sins. The
Bible tells us that we sin daily.
As Knights of Columbus and fathers of
families, do not fail heaven and earth in your most difficult vocation
possible. Like St. Joseph, go to God when it appears to be an impossible
burden: Jesus Mary and Joseph, pray for us.
Father Sylvester Kleinschmidt, Chaplain