My heart swells with love of God, my Catholic Faith, and especially my love for The Family.
The Family is the most beautiful of all God’s creations. It’s not just a man-made “institution” or “unit” of society. The Family is a living, breathing, organism. The Family is everything. Without The Family, none of us would be here.
I loved, loved, loved what Pope Francis said about the Family in his Speech at the World Meeting of Families. You really have to watch him say it to really, truly get it. (watch especially starting at 3:30)
Here is the text scattered below but watch it, please, I promise you’ll be glad you did.
Once a child asked me – you know that kids ask difficult questions – he asked me Father, what did God do before creating the world?
I assure you, I found real difficulty in answering the question. So I said what I’m now going to say to you: Before creating the world…
Because God is love.
He had so much love: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It was so overflowing. I don’t think this is very logical, but you will understand – it was so big, this love, he could not be egoistic. It had to be poured out of him. So as to share that love with those out of himself. And then God created the world. God made this marvelous world in which we live….
All of the love that God has in himself, all the beauty that he has in himself, he gives it to the family. And the family is really family when it is able to open its arms and receive all that love.
And in that simple answer to a boy’s innocent question, we have everything we need to know about God, Love, Creation, and The Family. It makes me giddy with excitement.
If you think about the whole universe, the billions and billions of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, planets orbiting in countless solar systems – to think that in all of that, in all of time, God chose us. He chose The Family.
He gives us His Love through the Family. He gives us all the beauty of creation to admire and care for through the Family. He gives us life, love, hope, peace, happiness, joy through the Family.
This is why, my dear friends, the Church holds the Family up so high. The Church, the intimate bride of Christ, knows it is through the Family that God transmits Himself to the world.
Even though there is suffering, destruction, selfishness, and greed, it is through the Family that we also find consolation, creation and rebuilding, hope, generosity, kindness, and strength.
[EMPHATIC]: Forgive me, but I have to say, the family is like a factory of hope. It’s a factory of resurrection. God opened this path, this possibility.
Pope Francis acknowledges that even though we uphold the Family as the transmitter of God’s love, family life itself is not in itself perfect.
In the family, indeed, there are difficulties. But those difficulties are overcome with love. Hatred is not capable of dealing with any difficulty and overcoming any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot overcome any difficulty. Only love. Only love is able to overcome. Love is about celebration, love is joy, love is moving forward.
Boy oh boy do I know this to be true. How is it possible that in one moment my heart surges with love for my husband and our children, and the next I’m screaming at them to pick their socks – their socks! – off the floor for the umpteenth time?
Sometimes in our family life, I wonder if I spend more time yelling and huffing than I do hugging and smiling. Yet, even if we’ve had a day, or a week, or even a year like this, I can still find joy in our family. While one bad choice can send me off my rocker, one small hug, or a sweet comment or one kind action fills my love tank and resets my day.
And that’s what keeps us going – those little, tiny, almost-unnoticed-if-you’re-not-looking-for-it moments of Joy and Love sprinkled here and there throughout the days as a family and in a marriage.
Those pebbles of joy and love are like the yeast for the bread. They seem small and insignificant. Yet, when you combine those moments of joy and love with the right “ingredients”, nourish them and give them a healthy environment, those grains of joy and love grow and ferment in the family, transforming an otherwise lumpy and lifeless family life into a family that is fully alive!
This is why the “…future of the world and of the Church passes through the family.” (St. Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio)
Like Pope Francis said, hatred, bitterness, resentment and grudges hurt spouses and children and lead to the breakdown of the whole family, friends, extended family, neighbors, communities and all of society.
Love saves. Love heals. Love builds, grows, transforms, and gives light to society.
When we open our hearts – like open circuits – to this Joy and Love in our marriages and in our families, we become conduits of God’s Love and Grace and Mercy for the world.
May God give you hope, the strength to move forward, let us look after the family. Let’s protect the family. Because it’s in the family that our future is at play.