#57 THE HEART OF JESUS AND THE FAMILY

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Introduction

I am almost certain that you must have seen a sticker which reads, “JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THIS FAMILY”. For a Christian, this is as true as the sun shinning in the skies. Jesus is the head and at the heart of every home. He is its source of inspiration, sustenance and happy end. This is the case of the love He has for each of us.

The Catholic Church stresses devotion to Christ, especially his heart because by taking on a human nature, He chose to have a heart that beats and loves like ours. Jesus’ heart beats for each of us with unconditional love. His heart also beats for the family because it is here that we first learn what it means to love.

Image of the Sacred Heart

The image we have of the heart of Jesus symbolizes his love. The flame and cross on it underscores his desire to rule over families and nations through love. By consecrating one’s family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we declare the family home to be under the reign of the King of Love. The family is the necessary foundation and the original source of Christian and social vitality. The family should be a coven of prayer, where love of Jesus and a life of Christian perfection are of prime importance. For this to happen, members of the family must understand their role and how this can help them cooperate with the love that we are afforded through grace in the heart of Jesus Christ.

The Catholic Family and Modern Society

You don’t need to go too far to realize that the world has declared war against the family. The increased rate of marital infidelity, teenage pregnancy, abortion, child abuse, homosexuality, materialism leading to a desperate seeking for wealth and comfort, drug and sex addiction questions the relevance of marriage for modern society. This led the first promoters of adoration of the Sacred Heart to point us back to what the family was meant to be and how society cannot be the same without a healthy and spiritually stable home.

The family is the smallest unit of society. It is here that a person learns to love, respect and cherish others as gifts of God and fellow human beings. A father’s place in the family is one of Provider, Protector and Leader. If he fails in any or all of these responsibilities, his family falls apart. Since the family is also a spiritual unit, he is also a priest, and it is his duty to foster spiritual unity through the bond of family prayer. He must present the family’s intentions, needs and aspiration to God, from whom all fatherhood both in heaven and on earth takes its name (Eph 3:15). Together with his wife, he must make the home a place of prayer and communion. There is nothing better than a father who is present to his family and their needs.

The place of the mother is that of Companion, Support and Teacher. The family cannot survive the torrent of emotional, psychological, spiritual and economic pressure with which society threatens her without the woman. With her skills and personality, she seeks to run the home and make plans both for the present and future. It is her place to support the man, care for the children and correct erroneous opinions by keeping an eye on what they do, where they go and who they keep as friends. We can safely conclude that the woman guards the home. For this too she needs the grace which God so willing gives everyone who asks Him (Rom 5:5; 2Cor 12:9).

Responsibilities of Sacred Heart Families

To dispel the spirit of Secularism: Secularism refers to the absence of religion or any expression of it in the home. Through family prayer, study of the scriptures, insistence on catechesis and participation in pious societies, this influence can be banished from the home. Most parents are complacent when it comes to matter bordering on the spiritual education of their children. If they do not receive the requisite education and are not taught to treasure their faith, they will not see it as relevant to their lives as persons. This will in turn affect their view of God, the Church, the purpose of human life and the destiny of the human person in the afterlife.

To keep safe from Modern Paganism: Paganism is the adherence to any belief other than the Christian (Catholic) faith and teaching about God. Modern Paganism is the tendency to remain comfortable as nominal Catholics while giving in to other false and misleading teachings that may sometimes contravene what we already believe and hold as part of the Christian faith. An example is an appeal to other persons other than ministers of the Church in cases that require spiritual intervention. Paganism also rares its head when we teach our children to treasure things instead of people and themselves (and their ideas of life) more than God.

Conclusion

It is the collective responsibility of parents to instill a love for purity and a practice of the Christian life in the home. This is so that our hearts and homes may be God’s shrine from which Christ’s reign and triumph will spread throughout the world. It is only in this way that the salvation Christ won for the world by his passion and death will truly be a means of redemption and spiritual transformation for each of us, for our families, our country and the whole world.

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