Thank you for all your prayers for me during my pilgrimage to the Holy Land! I was greatly blessed by our good Lord during the nearly two weeks I spent on pilgrimage. I remembered you in my prayers, including during Holy Mass. I am hopeful that some of the blessings that so impacted me may be a benefit also to you in the weeks and months ahead!
This Sunday, February 9, we celebrate World Marriage Day. The designation of World Marriage Day is promoted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Catholic organization that promotes solid, faith-filled marriages. Marriage in our good Lord’s plan is a beautiful gift to the human family and human society! The special day is an opportunity for us to show support for married couples and families. I encourage you to grow in knowledge of the great gift of marriage and the place it has in our Heavenly Father’s plan.
Furthermore, this month of February is dedicated to increasing our devotion to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. God the Father has given us the Holy Family to show us the way to love His Divine Will and to be a model for us to imitate in all aspects of family life. The love and devotion present in the Holy Family has been a source of inspiration for generations of Christians throughout the world! Let us also grow in our devotion to the Holy Family this month!
Here is some of what our Catechism (#2201-2206) teaches about Christian family life: “The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the spouses. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. The love of the spouses and the begetting of children create among members of the same family personal relationships and primordial responsibilities.
A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated.
In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons equal in dignity. For the common good of its members and of society, the family necessarily has manifold responsibilities, rights, and duties.
"The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church." It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.
The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.
The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and St. Michael and St. Paul, may our Heavenly Father bless us with the strength of the Holy Spirit to live according to the example of the Holy Family!
In Christ through Mary,
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