Family the Basic Brick Don Aguiar
.”In a world filled with challenges to marriage and family life, the Catholic Church is called “to carry out her mission in fidelity, truth and love,” Pope Francis said at the Mass opening the world Synod of Bishops on the family. In his homily, Pope Francis asked people to pray that the synod would show the world “how the experience of marriage and family is rich and humanly fulfilling”
It’s primeval yet very much in vogue seeking a connection with the other by talking about the family. Who’s in your family? What do they do? From strangers meeting on trains and planes to employees and employers checking each other out, this remains a key rite in the passage to fellowship. Social media is also awash with pictures of babies, mummies, daddies…..
We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family life. We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those of families just starting out.
Society has existed on certain basic principles. The first and most important unit of society has been the family. The family is the basic brick that nations are made of, races are made of, and religious organizations are made of. .
You know what God loves most? To knock on the door of families and to find the families who love each other – families who bring up their children to grow and to move forward. Who create, who develop a society of truth, goodness and beauty. God made man and woman to complement each other, to love and to be loved, and to see their love bear fruit in children.
One can describe the family as “a factory of hope”, each one with divine citizenship, somber reflections – that many families “carry a cross” suffer indignities and separate – with similar wit. Families face many difficulties, Families fight. And sometimes plates fly, and sometimes kids get knocked on the head. And let’s not even talk about mothers-in-law.
There is no perfect family. We have no perfect parents, we are not perfect, do not get married to a perfect person, neither do we have perfect children. We have complaints about each other. We are disappointed by one another. Therefore, there is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes a theater of conflict and a bastion of grievances. Without forgiveness the family becomes sick.
Forgiveness is the sterilization of the soul, cleansing the mind and the liberation of the heart. Anyone who does not forgive has no peace of soul and communion with God. Pain is a poison that intoxicates and kills. Maintaining a wound of the heart is a self-destructive action. It is an autophagy.
He who does not forgive sickens physically, emotionally and spiritually. That is why the family must be a place of life and not of death; an enclave of cure not of disease; a stage of forgiveness and not of guilt. Forgiveness brings joy where sorrow produced pain; and healing, where pain caused disease.
Stress must be laid on the importance of kind “little gestures” that go a long way in the family. They get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children and siblings
These are some things that we need to leave unspoilt. Beauty is normally found in things that are odd and imperfect – they are much more interesting. A situation must never arise where the family is unhappy only because of a lack of kind “little gestures” leading forgiveness and family bonding.
Family bonding is very important for a number of reasons. One reason is that today, both parents often work and the kids are involved in many different activities such as sports, clubs and hanging out with friends. The old concepts of what a family should be have been thrown out the window. It used to be that one parent stayed home, the children saw their parents before and after school, and the whole family sat down to dinner EVERY night, talking about their day, talking to each other about what is going on in their lives. Today, you would be lucky if you see each other more than an hour a day and family dinner hardly ever happens at all.
To keep in touch with your family, whether it knows what activities your kids are involved in, parents telling their children about their day, etc., it is important that you as a family spend some quality time together. Sure, you may have busy schedules, but you all can sit down at least once a week to touch base, be together, and let each other know there is love in the family still. All too often, no one talks to others in the family or spends any time together and it seems a bunch of strangers are living together. Do you really want your kids growing up this way, and passing these bad family traits down to their family and kids?
Family time doesn’t have to be a chore, but it does have to be scheduled and you all have to make a commitment to be there every time. If you as a parent tell your friends that you want to spend more time with your family, they better understand, or they aren’t really the friends you thought them to be. While your kids may buck at the idea at first, if they know it is a fun time to spend together, they will be more and more eager to make sure they are there too.
When the ability to acknowledge what is horrifically wrong is lost between or among the family members, then it becomes possible for the family member(s) to justify virtually anything in order to further a larger cause. The idea of a minimum standard of humanity breaks down not because of the universality of evil, but because of a perverse desire to win an argument between or among family members, no matter what the cost. This is the real danger of the word games that are being played between or among family members.
Where does one draw the line? Why does it become possible for a family member to be so repelled by something that they condemn their family unequivocally without qualification or sly justification avoiding the usual “but what about such and such done by the other side in the past”, and refraining from keeping a cunning and calculating silence. Or is it that there is now no such line that we can take for granted, and that everything will necessary become subject to a process of competitive desensitization? These are relevant questions in today’s family. In such circumstances – The church must encourage families and defend faithful love, the sacredness of every human life and “the unity and indissolubility” of marriage.
The family is a place of discernment, where we learn to recognize God’s plan for our lives and to embrace it with trust. It is a place of gratuitousness, of discreet fraternal presence and solidarity, a place where we learn to step out of ourselves and accept others, to forgive and to be forgiven. Every family is always a light, however faint, amid the darkness of this world.
We have a great legacy but one, which is increasingly diminishing, and one fine day we will wake up and see the damage we have done. It is already too late. While there must be enough noise about the problems in the family, we cannot ignore the soul of the family. It’s heritage which chronicles the DNA of a family. To allow that DNA to disappear would be the biggest disservice we can do to the family. The family is not an outdated model, and Catholics should defend it from the sins that call into question and often destroy the traditional family,