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How to be future-friendly: Weekly Message for 05-04-2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
A notable columnist said something simple and refreshing in a recent interview.
Asked what people of a certain political leaning could do in order to improve the situation of the country, the columnist offered a strikingly nonpartisan suggestion: Let them raise happy families.
The suggestion was edifying. Rather than focusing on politics, he shifted the spotlight to something more substantial.
Instead of people spending their time fighting over partisan issues, they shouldn’t forget to try to do what past generations tried to do: raise well-balanced children.
Many of the problems around us won’t disappear anytime soon. But what fosters hope and helps society is the nurturing of a new generation of children well-formed in the faith.
As St. John Paul II famously wrote in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”
Families are resilient. They stand the test of time. They outlast empires, dictatorships, and even faltering democracies.
Families are part of God’s original plan for humanity, built around the sacred institution of marriage, which itself is an icon of the inner love of the Triune God.
None of this means we should cut ourselves off completely from the society around us. We are called to be light and leaven in the world.
Nevertheless, the importance of families – raising them, supporting them – is something we all have a role in, no matter what our calling in life.
Strong families keep us calm and balanced, as they do the wider world. To focus more on what brings calm at a deep level, you might turn to our Retreat Guide on Navigating Stormy Seas.
And this coming Mother’s Day, let’s pray for those who have a special role to be the heart of a family.
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor
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What a pleasant surprise to read about a journalist who chose not to be partisan and instead turned to the truth of the role of the family as the basis for all civilization. If only parents of young children were told how influential their bringing their faith to their families, especially the very young children, perhaps they would never have to face what so many grandparents now regret. As a grandmother, I look back on bringing up my son and realize that it was not so much what I said as how I showed my son the depth and value of my faith that was most important. While he believes, he is not an active Catholic, and I pray for God’s mercy in bringing him back to being a participating, worshipping member of the church. Not only do our children need religious training, there parents do too.