Amoris Laetitia 30: The Holy Family

amoris laetitia memeRemember that Amoris Laetitia is online in pdf format here. Read ahead or review, as you wish.

Pope Francis advises we look to the Holy Family:

30. Every family should look to the icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Its daily life had its share of burdens and even nightmares, as when they met with Herod’s implacable violence. This last was an experience that, sad to say, continues to affict the many refugee families who in our day feel rejected and helpless. Like the Magi, our families are invited to contemplate the Child and his Mother, to bow down and worship him (cf. Mt 2:11). Like Mary, they are asked to face their family’s challenges with courage and serenity, in good times and bad, and to keep in their heart the great things which God has done (cf. Lk 2:19, 51). The treasury of Mary’s heart also contains the experiences of every family, which she cherishes. For this reason, she can help us understand the meaning of these experiences and to hear the message God wishes to communicate through the life of our families.

A few thoughts on this. Many Catholics are adrift from the life of devotions. Even those who do observe them, usually stick to just a few, and do so in packs. Not to denigrate that, but an important opportunity comes to mind with this final paragraph of Chapter One.

The feast of the Holy Family could be a household festival for any family. Marriage ushers a couple into this feast. The Sunday (most years) between Christmas and New Year’s is an opportunity for cultivating prayer and devotion to the Holy Family. Not just with prayer, but with joy and celebration. Don’t many priests adopt the Curé of Ars as a patron? We married couples have the Holy Family. Every married couple.

Among some Catholics, I hear the outburst, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” Perhaps such an exclamation is well-reserved for times of happiness, not frustration.

Any final thoughts as we prepare to move ahead into Chapter Two?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 30: The Holy Family

  1. Melody says:

    Reminds me of the story I heard about the lady who was the mother of several children. She sought advice from the priest in confession about problems she was having with some of them. His advice was to pray to the Holy Family for wisdom. She was heard to mutter after she left the confessional, “Yeah, them with their One!”
    Seriously, you are right that the Holy Family are good patrons for married couples. They certainly faced their share of challenges.

    • Todd says:

      The lady in the story also communicates the need for more “real” sainted families to befriend as patrons. Mary doesn’t exhaust the need for women, nor Peter and Paul for apostles, and so on. Ideally every region or major nationality would have a family or at least a couple.

  2. Liam says:

    JMJ used to be an indulgenced invocation: since 1968, it’s been moved out of the list of indulgenced acts to an appendix of pious invocations in the Enchiridion.

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