A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
A Few Practical Ways to Imitate the Holy Family
1. We need to hang an image of the Holy Family on the wall. The photos we keep in frames are reminders of who we are, where we’ve come from and the standard we have to live up to. In 1890, Pope Leo XIII urged everyone to keep a picture of the Holy Family in the home. At least it can serve as remedy to the dysfunctional family images we get on TV.
2. We need to cultivate silence. This is the quality Pope Paul VI found most inspiring in the Holy Family. They lived a hidden life, a quiet life, a life with lots of room for thinking. With TV, radio and the Internet clogging our minds and senses, we leave our families little room for thought or prayer. Our interior dialogue with God gets crowded out by many things. We need to do what it takes to bring silence home turning off TV or other noisy things. This is guaranteed to reduce family stress levels.
3. We need to make our home a haven of charity. One of the most striking descriptions of the Church comes from a third-century Roman officer: “See those Christians, how they love one another.” Such charity has to begin at home. The home is the “domestic Church.” let us not desecrate our domestic churches — by harsh words toward our kids or our spouse, or by gossip about the neighbors, co-workers or even priests? Remember: “They’ll know we are Christians” — not just by the nativity scene in our front yard — but by the love in our hearts, expressed in our homes.
4. We need to make our home a place of prayer. Our day needn't be dominated by devotions, but we should have some regular, routine family prayers, just as the Holy Family did. They prayed and studied the Scriptures, but still managed to get their work done. There are many ways we can pray as a family, and we should seek the ways that work best for us. We can pray together at the beginning of the day, or at the end. We should, at least, be saying grace at every meal. We can pray the Rosary together, begin a weekly family Bible study, and go to a weekday Mass. It might be advisable to begin with something small and manageable and then give ourselves time to grow into it before tackling something bigger.
I was impressed to know a family prays rosary in the night and their children get blessings from their parents and then they go to bed. It’s a good practice! I wish that all our parishioners follow this practice.
May God bless all our families in the New Year.