Friday, June 10, 2016 Saint Barnabas Eve

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 30:
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Mary had no fear of the world or man, yet, when the angel appeared she was immersed in holy fear. Let us follow Mary’s example and bravely face the day saying YES to God.

Amoris Lætitia[1] The Experiences and Challenges of Families-Some Challenges-(50-54)

Families face many problems in raising children. Parents come home exhausted, not wanting to talk, and many families no longer even share a common meal. Distractions abound, including an addiction to television. Families often seem more caught up with securing their future than with enjoying the present with each other. This is a broader cultural problem, aggravated by fears about steady employment, finances and the futures of children.

 Many families are entrenched in drug use, one of the scourges of our time, causing immense suffering and are a major cause of the breakup of many families. The same is true of alcoholism, gambling and other addictions. Families at risk “lose the ability to act to help their families and children and many children are orphans of living parents. There is violence within families which breeds new forms of social aggression which causes a breeding-ground of resentment and hatred in the most basic human relationships.

 In the world there is a failure to realize that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman is the greatest measure to creating a stable society that bears fruit in new life. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of an abundant society.

 Almost universally people have the practice of living together before marriage, as well as having a type of cohabitation which totally excludes any intention to marry. The strength of the family “lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love. For all a family’s problems, it can always grow, beginning with love”.

 The verbal, physical, and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union. History is burdened by the excesses of patriarchal cultures that considered women inferior, yet in our own day, we cannot overlook the use of surrogate mothers and “the exploitation and commercialization of the female body in the current media culture. The equal dignity of men and women makes us rejoice to see old forms of discrimination disappear, and within families there is a growing reciprocity. If certain forms of feminism have arisen which we must consider inadequate, we must nonetheless see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of the dignity and rights of women.

[1] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.


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