Dear Brothers and Sisters,
How grateful we can be for the graces God has given JPII in writing, and given us in reading “Familiaris Consortio”; I continue to be blessed by my re-reading of it. Here’s another excerpt:
**PART FOUR - PASTORAL CARE OF THE FAMILY: STAGES, STRUCTURES, AGENTS AND SITUATIONS
I - STAGES OF PASTORAL CARE OF THE FAMILY
The Church Accompanies the Christian Family on Its Journey Through Life**
- Like every other living reality, the family too is called upon to develop and grow. After the preparation of engagement and the sacramental celebration of marriage, the couple begin their daily journey towards the progressive actuation of the values and duties of marriage itself.
In the light of faith and by virtue of hope, the Christian family too shares, in communion with the Church, in the experience of the earthly pilgrimage towards the full revelation and manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
Therefore, it must be emphasized once more that the pastoral intervention of the Church in support of the family is a matter of urgency. Every effort should be made to strengthen and develop pastoral care for the family, which should be treated as a real matter of priority, in the certainty that future evangelization depends largely on the domestic Church."
The Church’s pastoral concern will not be limited only to the Christian families closest at hand; it will extend its horizons in harmony with the Heart of Christ, and will show itself to be even more lively for families in general and for those families in particular which are in difficult or irregular situations. For all of them the Church will have a word of truth, goodness, understanding, hope and deep sympathy with their sometimes tragic difficulties. To all of them she will offer her disinterested help so that they can come closer to that model of a family which the Creator intended from “the beginning” and which Christ has renewed with His redeeming grace.
The Church’s pastoral action must be progressive, also in the sense that it must follow the family, accompanying it step by step in the different stages of its formation and development.
Remembering that St. JPII wrote this in 1981, it is a sad for me to look back on those years to see so little that was done, and to see today the results. We see even greater indifference, among Catholics and non Catholics, regarding the Sanctity of Marriage and the beautiful call to Families to be sharing Christ with one another and with the whole wold. Compare for instance, the number of families who watched the Superbowl with the number who participated in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday. Compare on any day the number of persons who are concerned and busy about many things but neglect the One thing (our relationship with God) so necessary for us all – here and hereafter! Let us pray fervently with Mary our Mother for all in most need of God’s Mercy, that we begin anew this day with contrite and humble hearts.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your Faithful. Kindle in us the Fire of Your Love.
Jesus, we trust in You!
Mary, Mother of the Church, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.