#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.

BLOGATRON

#18 To All People of Good Will

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Dear Doctimus Prime,
If I had the opportunity to address a congregation on Christmas day, here is what I would probably say:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“The time came for Mary to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Lk2:6-7
These words touch our hearts every time we hear them. This was the moment that the angel had foretold at Nazareth: “You will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Lk 1:31). This was the moment that Israel had been awaiting for centuries, through many dark hours – the moment that all mankind was somehow awaiting, in terms as yet ill-defined: when God would take care of us, when he would step into history, when the world would be saved and God would renew all things. We can imagine the kind of interior preparation, the kind of love with which Mary approached that hour. The brief phrase: “She wrapped him in swaddling clothes” allows us to glimpse something of the holy joy and the silent zeal of her preparation. The swaddling clothes were ready, so that the child could be given a fitting welcome. Yet there is no room at the inn.

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In some way, we are waiting for God, waiting for him to draw near. But when the moment comes, there is no room for him. We can become so preoccupied with ourselves that we leave no space and no time for others – for our neighbour, for the poor, for God.
The Christmas season speaks for itself. It’s no cleverly invented myth, neither is it un-reason-able. Christ took on human flesh and became ONE OF US. The joy which attends it is enough to turn gloom into grace, despair into hope and war into peace. The message of the season is timely. The message we should focus on is that of FAMILY. God in Jesus Christ has come to join the human family. He has come to mend all that is broken in our hearts, in our homes and in our society. Many homes today are only houses where people come to sleep at night and leave as soon as day breaks. Parents have become so busy that they barely know their children. Children are left with no one but their peers, television and the internet as their guardians and teachers of what is right and wrong. Christ has come to teach us that children are vulnerable and they need all the attention, understanding and care they can get. The fatherly protection of Joseph and the tender care of Mary are vivid examples of how parents are to guide their children. Will Christ find shelter in your homes?

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More than ever before, your home is to be a place where Christ is known and loved. You should pray and study the Bible as a family, or at least ask each other what you learnt in Church. You should welcome people and where possible, help to reduce their suffering with financial, moral and spiritual support. If Christ finds a home in your family, his grace, blessings and favour shall never depart.

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Pope Saint Gregory the Great (540-604) has this to say to you:
“The angels consider man as their equal because they adore God made man, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Let us, therefore, beloved brethren, beware of every sin… Let us lead such good lives that they may correspond with our dignity. Avoid, therefore, impurity and lust, even every sinful thought. Let not wickedness soil the purity of your souls; let not the poison of envy and hatred penetrate your hearts. Keep your souls free from pride, covetousness and anger, and especially from the desire of tasting the sinful pleasures of this world. Remember that you have been called the children of the Most High (Ps 82:6). Defend in yourselves the glory of God by avoiding sin, for God was made man in order to honour us and make us partakers of His eternal glory.”
May Christ newly born find a home in your families and may His glory never depart from you, Amen.
Yours,
BLOGATRON

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