Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Prayer for Christian Families

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”  --St. John Paul II

With February's dedication to the Holy Family and the rapidly approaching Lenten season (in fact it begins tomorrow), this is a fitting time to take to heart St. John Paul II's words and offer sacrifices and prayers for the sanctification of family life.  It is also vital to pray for the intention that the entire world will grasp and embrace the significance of holy families.  May we also pray for the families throughout the world that they may strive to imitate the faith-filled, loving, and virtuous example provided by the Holy Family of Nazareth, just as Pope Pius XII penned in the following prayer.


Prayer for Christian Families

O Lord, God of goodness and mercy, Who in the midst of an evil and sinful world hast presented to the society of the redeemed the Holy Family of Nazareth as a spotless mirror of piety, justice and love, behold how the family is being undermined on all sides, every effort being made to desecrate it by stripping it of faith, religion and morals.

Regard the work of Thy own hands. Safeguard in our homes the domestic virtues, for these alone will ensure us harmony and peace. Come and stir up the champions of the family. Bestir the modern apostles so that in Thy Name, bearing the message of Jesus Christ and exhibiting holiness of life, they may revive the doctrines of conjugal fidelity for married couples, the exercise of authority by parents, obedience on the part of children, and modesty on the part of girls. Grant also through the efforts of these apostles, that the home favored by Thee with many blessings may again become an object of esteem and love in the minds and hearts of all.

It is through the examples of the Divine model of Nazareth that the Christian family is to be restored in Jesus Christ and to recover its former respect and dignity. Then every home will again become a sanctuary and in every household will be rekindled the flame of faith to teach patience in adversity and moderation in prosperity and to promote order, peace, and harmony in all things.

Under Thy paternal gaze, O Lord, and with confidence in Thy Providence and in the loving patronage of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the family will become a sanctuary of virtue and a school of wisdom. It shall prove, as Christ has promised, a haven of rest against life's burdens. In the sight of the world it shall render glory to Thee, O Father, and to Thy Son, Jesus, until the day when, through Him, we shall, together with all His members, sing the Divine praises in the eternal ages to come. Amen.

--By Pope Pius XII

In 2013 Pope Francis addressed families, saying,

"Dear families, you know very well that the true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well... True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all. God alone knows how to create harmony from differences. But if God’s love is lacking, the family loses its harmony, self-centeredness prevails and joy fades. But the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society."

May we use this Lenten season to work toward the sanctification of our families, and through example, prayer, and sacrifice, the sanctification of families everywhere!

God bless!  I pray each of you have a blessed, holy Lent!
+JMJ+

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