“Families are a sign of God’s presence.” This statement from the beautiful document on the family called “Follow the Way of Love,” says so much about the importance of family life in our world.
“When people talk about life in a family, they speak of love with its abiding peace, its searing pain, its moments of joy and disappointment, its heroic struggle and ordinary routines.
‘Family is where someone loves you no matter what,’ a teenager declares.
‘Family doesn't mean just mom, dad, and kids, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others,’ explains a Hispanic woman.
‘In a family you don't have to look very far to find your cross,’ a father observes.
‘My child asks me such mystical questions,’ reports a young mother. ‘I learn so much.’
The story of family life is a story about love—shared, nurtured, and sometimes rejected or lost. In every family God is revealed uniquely and personally, for God is love and those who live in love, live in God and God dwells in them (cf. 1 Jn 4:16).” (Follow the Way of Love)
Strong and healthy Catholic families are fundamental to our town communities and most certainly to our Catholic faith communities. With so many pressures to raise purpose-driven, faith-filled kids, while maintaining a happy, healthy marriage, Catholic parents need a support system – a community of people who share their values and care deeply about each member of their family. This is what being involved in your local Catholic parish is all about.
“Strong Catholic Families/Strong Catholic Youth,” a national organization that supports families in their quest to live their Catholic faith in the home, offers these thoughts and suggestions…
“religious faith and practice themselves exert significant, positive, direct and indirect influences on the lives of teenagers, helping to foster healthier, more engaged adolescents who live more constructive and promising lives” (Smith 2005, 263). Teens that practice and develop their faith beyond a superficial level appear happier and healthier than those who do not.
For more suggestions on living the Catholic faith in the home, view this resource book for families.
For married couples in the midst of raising teenagers, life can be unpredictable and sometimes seem out of control. So much time and energy is spent on parenting alone – then add careers, household tasks, and financial challenges – it’s no wonder that marriages need special attention at these times.
Praying together as a couple each day, just spending a few moments to thank God for our blessings and bring our most pressing problems to Him together, can make a huge difference in each spouse’s ability to work through difficulties and celebrate great moments together.
Getting involved in some form of shared ministry may be one the greatest things you can do for your marriage. Joining your parish marriage ministry team or a parish Pre-Cana team in the area is an opportunity to serve others while enriching and strengthening your own marriage – a win-win for sure!