As I said from my blog post on June 22, 2015 from the “Mondays with Mary” series titled, The Fatherhood of St. Joseph, I would return to the document, Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer) during the time of the 2015 World Meeting of Families. However, because I wrote so much on the nature of the Catholic Church last week from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I did not fully complete my promise to all of you, and to that, I apologize. I felt the need to really help people understand what the Catholic Church says about herself and to the world, especially those in the media because they often get things wrong when it comes to reporting on Church matters.
So for today’s “Mondays with Mary,” I am going share with you 10 quotes that have to do with the family as well as the Holy Family from the aforementioned document written by Pope St. John Paul II. Since the Blessed Virgin Mary is the heart of the Holy Family, I don’t think she will mind me focusing on the family as well as the Holy Family for this series titled and dedicated to her. In the quotes below, the bolded words are mine.
1. “It follows that Joseph’s fatherhood – a relationship that places him as close as possible to Christ, to whom every election and predestination is ordered (cf. Rom 8:28-29) – comes to pass through marriage to Mary, that is, through the family.” (7)
2. “The Savior began the work of salvation by this virginal and holy union, wherein is manifested his all-powerful will to purify and sanctify the family – that sanctuary of love and cradle of life.” (7)
3. “The essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church his bride.” This being the case, it is in the Holy Family, the original “Church in miniature (Ecclesia domestica),” that every Christian family must be reflected. “Through God’s mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families.” (7)
4. “The growth of Jesus “in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52) took place within the Holy Family under the eyes of Joseph, who had the important task of “raising” Jesus, that is, feeding, clothing and educating him in the Law and in a trade, in keeping with the duties of a father.” (#16)
5. “For his part, Jesus “was obedient to them” (Lk 2:51), respectfully returning the affection of his “parents.” In this way he wished to sanctify the obligations of the family and of work, which he performed at the side of Joseph.” (#16)
6. “This bond of charity was the core of the Holy Family’s life, first in the poverty of Bethlehem, then in their exile in Egypt, and later in the house of Nazareth. The Church deeply venerates this Family, and proposes it as the model of all families. Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery.” (#21)
7. “Together with human nature, all that is human, and especially the family – as the first dimension of man’s existence in the world – is also taken up in Christ. Within this context, Joseph’s human fatherhood was also “taken up” in the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation.” (#21)
8. “If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus’ work at the side of Joseph the carpenter…Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel.” (#22)
9. “…Joseph was in his day the lawful and natural guardian, head and defender of the Holy Family…. It is thus fitting and most worthy of Joseph’s dignity that, in the same way that he once kept unceasing holy watch over the family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ.” (#28)
10. “…the Church has implored the protection of St. Joseph on the basis of “that sacred bond of charity which united him to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God,” and the Church has commended to Joseph all of her cares, including those dangers which threaten the human family.” (#31)
As the participants from the World Meeting of Families return to their respective cities and countries, and as the Holy Father returns to Rome, let us pray for the safe return of all traveling this day and week. Let us also pray that the families through the New Evangelization will have an impact on the communities in which they live. In a time when the family is being attacked like never before, let us invoke the prayers and intercession of the Holy Family who is the perfect example of love, sacrifice, and beauty to the modern world.
This blog post is dedicated to the Phoenix pilgrims, and all pilgrims, including Pope Francis, who traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2015 World Meeting of Families.