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Family Synod ’14 – Family is the Cradle of Everything


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 09/10/2014 -

The Synod begins with the testimony of a married couple: Here is what you could hear from the testimony of Ron (Romano) and Mavis Pirola from Sydney, Australia: “Here we are, 55 years married and still in love. As each of our four children arrived, it was an exhilarating joy for which we still thank the Lord daily. Of course, the complexities of parenting had great rewards and challenges. There were nights when we would lie awake wondering where we had gone wrong. Our faith in Jesus was important to us. We went to Mass together and looked to the Church for guidance. Occasionally we looked at Church documents but they seemed to be from another planet with difficult language and not terribly relevant to our own experiences. Gradually, we came to see that the only feature that distinguishes our sacramental relationship from that of any other good Christ-centred relationship is sexual intimacy and that marriage is a sexual sacrament with its fullest expression in sexual intercourse. We believe that until married couples come to reverence sexual union as an essential part of their spirituality it is extremely hard to appreciate the beauty of teachings such as those of Humanae Vitae. We need new ways and relatable language to touch peoples’ hearts. As the Instrumentum laboris suggests, the domestic church has much to offer the wider Church in its evangelizing role.4 For example, the Church constantly faces the tension of upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy. Families face this tension all the time. Yes, family life is ‘messy’. But so is parish, which is the ‘family of families’. One question is how ‘the clergy [could] be better prepared … in … presenting the documents of the Church on marriage and the family’. Again, one way could be by learning from the domestic church. As Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘This demands a change in mindset, particularly concerning lay people. They must no longer be viewed as “collaborators” of the clergy but truly recognized as “co-responsible”, for the Church’s being and action’. That would also require a major attitudinal change for laity. We have eight wonderful, unique grandchildren. We pray for them by name daily because daily they are exposed to the distorted messages of modern society, even as they walk down the street to school such messages are on billboards or appear on their smartphones…” This is what you could hear from a Brazilian Couple who spoke on the role of Movements in married life. They were asked: What is the secret to be victorious in matrimonial and family life? Is it to take part in an ecclesial Movement? “To live daily as a married couple and as a family is not an easy task in this secularized world of ours. We have thorns and difficulties to be overcome every day. Prayer in the family and as married couples, and the practice of conversing, of dialoguing frankly on all matters of the family foster the building of a solid and fecund home. And in our case in particular, taking part in an ecclesial Movement helped us a lot, therefore we believe that it will help the great majority of married couples… The family is the cradle of everything. As a general rule, to cultivate a good family, where honest and mature relations are lived, strengthens the human being a lot. De-structured families tend to generate de-structured children. And those that are well formed tend to be the winners in the world, in all the areas of performance.”

 




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