Since we finished celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this spring, it seems a good time to be thinking about family. Not all family life is a celebration, however, and we need to know that sometimes it will be more difficult to “be” family than at other times. What can we do?
- Meditate on the example of the Holy Family. If anyone knows about sacrifice, danger, the difficulties of small-town gossip, the fear of the unknown, it’s them! Yet Mary and Joseph both relied entirely on the Lord to provide for them and his young Son. We all worry, but prayer helps.
- Spend time together. Time is the most precious and fleeting gift we can give to anyone. Some many activities and priorities jostle each other for precedence in our lives; but even as we are called to be part of the family of God, that starts in our own families. Give them every moment you can, whether it’s exploring a new recipe, heading out on a bike trail, or just stopping to listen.
- Remember your vocation. As Pope Francis has underlined, a family’s vocation is love.Is love reflected in all your family interactions? Sure, there will be arguments and hurt feelings—but do you work to repair those moments and to forgive?
As Catholic families, we need to live out our faith in our daily tasks, and provide an example to the world of how to be fully alive with the Gospel. When we keep our eyes on Christ, we can have the confidence to go forth and show charity to others, both in our families… and beyond.