Family Matters

The SPL blog has some great quotes from St. John Chrysostom on Marriage and Family. Here's one which brings up a theme I found at another article linked below:

"The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together. Men will take up arms and even sacrifice their lives for the sake of this love. St. Paul would not speak so earnestly about this subject without serious reason; why else would he say, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord?” Because when harmony prevails, the children are raised well, the household is kept in order, and neighbors, friends, and relatives praise the result. Great benefits, both of families and states, are thus produced. When it is otherwise, however, everything is thrown into confusion and turned upside-down." –Homily on Ephesians 5:22-23

Society depends on the wellbeing of its families, a theme borne out in this post from Ignitum Today:

“May Nazareth remind us what the family is, what the communion of love is, its stark and simple beauty, its sacred and inviolable character; may it help us to see how sweet and irreplaceable education in the family is; may it teach us its natural function in the social order. May we finally learn the lesson of work.” – Pope Paul VI, Address at Nazareth (January 5, 1964)

As Pope Paul VI said so eloquently above, the family has a sacred and inviolable character. In fact, the Church says that the family is the “primary place of humanization” for persons and society. The family is the “cradle of life and love”, and the place where one learns of the love and faithfulness of God. The family is where children learn their first and most important lessons about wisdom and the virtues.

The family, founded on the sacrament of marriage, is the first natural society and the center of all social life. Blessed John Paul II wrote in Centesimus Annus:

In the climate of natural affection which unites the members of the family unit, persons are recognized and learn responsibility in the wholeness of their personhood. The first and fundamental structure for ‘human ecology’ is the family, in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and be loved, and thus what it actually means to be a person…The obligations of its members, in fact, are not limited by the terms of a contract but derive from the very essence of the family, founded on the irrevocable marriage covenant and given structure in the relationships that arise within it following the generation or adoption of children.
— Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 96

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