Posted by: Deborah | June 19, 2011

The Christian Family Today: Trinity Sunday

Blessings on this Holy Day!  May we all be open to receive the Love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Rejoicing in our blessings, may we remember also our call to “be a blessing” to others.  Our family is our first experience of love, but the older we become in nature and grace, the more our choices determine the depth and direction of our love.  Even those little loved by human parents, can by God’s Grace yet experience and grow in His Love, and can help others to become perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. (cf Mt. 5:48).  In the Trinity is Love for all, and we as Christian families are called to reflect this Love in the world.

“The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.  In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father’s work of Creation.  It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ.  Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity.  The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.” – The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2205.

How many families today are a “communion of persons” or believe they are created to be a sign and an image of the Holy Trinity’s Communion of Three Divine Persons?   Some may remember this truth from the Catechism or from a class or homily they heard, but many other families are broken, hurting, and aching for communion.  Sin has destroyed and will continue to destroy familial love, but God so loved the world He sent His Only Begotten Son (Jn 3:16). In Christ, true communion of persons reflecting the Trinity is given, but will we receive Him and help others receive Him?

If by God’s Grace we are determined to know and follow Christ as disciples, daily we can learn from Him how to love truly. We can repent and believe; we can experience the communion we need.  We also hear Him tell us to go and make disciples teaching them all that we have heard from Him.  But how “determined” are we?  How many families take time to know Christ and to follow Him?  How many are truly open to life while others defend contraception, abortion, same sex-marriages, and are educating others to do the same?  Some fervently partake of prayer and the sacrifice of the Mass, but others find excuses not to come if it’s inconvenient.  Fewer still may pray daily and daily read the Word of God and grow strong in charity.   God has loved us so much, but how determined are we to love Him in return?  How much grace do we squander?  What do we value most?

How can the Christian family take up the evangelizing and missionary task it has been given in Baptism and Confirmation when so may of our families are in need of evangelization?  The king going to battle against impossible odds in the movie, Lord of the Rings, asked: “How did it come to this?”  I believe it has come one venial sin at a time.   We have become more and more careless, irreverent, and more and more forgetful of the Lord’s warning: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.“ (Mat 26:41).

Many families do not watch and do not pray, thus  they enter  temptation and fall.  The more we fall, the less our conscience may bother us.  The flesh is weak and the spirit becomes weak as well.  But if we cooperate with God’s Grace, we will watch and discern the signs of these times.   We will pray and we will help our families to pray.  Thus helped by word and example, we will not enter into temptation and fall – or if we do fall, we will sincerely repent and begin again.     By God’s Grace, our families can become stronger in the Love of God and find true communion of persons.  We cannot ever give up in the struggle.  We must pray with perseverance, take up our cross daily and follow Him Who has loved us first.  Together we need to overcome the culture of death around us by doing the truth lovingly in our families first, and with our families to reach out to others.

Our battle to overcome evil seems impossible to us often, and without God’s Grace it is.  But with Him, all things are possible.  Let us rejoice that God in His Mercy has given us life this day and His Grace to enter union with Him, growing each day in faith hope and above all charity.  The decisive battle of our time is in the family.  It is in the home, where the evil one knows it begins for each of us.  Let us strive to love one another with His Love.  Let us approach each person as one created in His Image and Likeness, no matter how disfigured he/she may appear to us.  Jesus excludes no one from His invitation to “ask, seek, knock.”  Can we?  The Good Shepherd leaves the 99 in search of the one lost.  Will we?

What a glorious future awaits the sons and daughters of God who have fought the good fight and finished the race!   We see only a reflection of the Trinity here and now, but the Beatific Vision awaits those willing to receive Love and give Love in return.


Responses

  1. Dear Deborah, thank you for this Blog entry. And welcome as the new co-author of the Blog! I look forward to more entries from you, as the Spirit leads you to write more for us all.

    This theme of the Catholic family is not only crucial – in these days, it is urgent. The family, a sacred institution of God, is attacked and assaulted and sabotaged from every angle imaginable. Lobbyists and advocates for homosexual rights are unrelenting in their work to redefine marriage to fit their desires, and this just as marriage has been and continues to be severely weakened by growing moral laxity in the culture and moral ambiguity – or silence – in the churches. Our moral compass has been beaten and kicked and rejected as man seeks to be god unto himself.

    Pity the children! Weep for the children who are provided no voice of a Good Shepherd, but rather are left to wolves, thieves and robbers in their music, their TV, their movies, their faithless leaders and teachers. And mourn for the culture that remains blind to the one light that can save it.

    What can we do? We must wake up to what is happening and do what we can do. We must pray as never before, because forces are at work in this country and around the world – forces beyond flesh and blood. In this country we can vote! And we Catholics had better take the Faith very seriously when we vote, and we had better be more realistic about consequences of our votes than we have in the past, because the days are getting shorter. Paul wrote of it 2000 years ago – and it has never been more real or true than today:

    Eph 6:10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
    11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.
    12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.
    13 Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.

    Thomas

    • Dear Thomas,

      Thanks for your reply. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians reminds us all of our high calling to holiness, and our need to draw our strength from God; I’m grateful that you included those verses. How very much our families need God’s Love!

      The Pope spoke on God’s Love, yesterday, in his Trinity Sunday homily:

      “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one,” he said, “because [they are] love, and love is the absolute life-giving force; the unity created by love is a greater unity than a merely physical one. ”

      “In the world there is evil,” the Holy Father continued, “there is egoism, there is malice, and God could come to judge this world, to destroy evil, to castigate those who work in darkness. Instead He reveals His love for the world, His love for man, despite his sin, and He sends what is most precious to Him: His only-begotten Son.

      “And not only does He send Him, but He makes Him a gift to the world.”

      By God’s grace, may Christian families receive God’s gift of Love with open hearts and minds and hold fast to Him with the strength He provides!

      Deborah

  2. Dear Deborah,
    What a pleasure to read your entry, Thomas’ comment, and your reply. How many families spend their time thinking about and discussing holiness? Perhaps your example will inspire other families.
    Congratulations on becoming the coauthor of the blog.
    May God bless you both.
    Barbara

    • Dear Barbara,

      Thanks for your reply. Yes, I agree that families can be helped by the example of others, as you suggest. Thomas and I pray that we may help others as we have surely been helped by you, and by all those other disciples we have met on our journey together. Let us continue to pray for one another and by God’s Grace live His Truth lovingly:

      “Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. “

      Let us continue to pray for our own families and for the families of the world. Thanks again for all your encouragement, Barbara!


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