I follow Pope Francis on Twitter. The short, two sentence quips he communicates to his millions of followers throughout the world always seem to hit home. His latest tweet, as of this past Thursday, reads as follows: “The family is where we are formed as people. Every family is a brick in the building of society.” Undoubtedly Pope Francis has fresh in his mind the recent gathering of bishops in Rome for the Synod on marriage and family life.
Modern culture presents to us a privatized view of marriage and family life, claiming that what happens in one home has no influence on the wider society. This is simply not true. Pope Francis’ recent tweet sounds very similar to Catechism paragraph 2207: “the family is the original cell of social life…in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love… Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security and fraternity within society.” Our families are where children learn how to love God, neighbor and become virtuous members of the larger community. When family life breaks down, society breaks down. If we observe the world around us, surely we can see there is at least a crack in the foundation of our society, if not huge gaping holes.
The Synod on marriage and family life currently taking place is timely. As a Church we must address the real challenges that keep Christian families from thriving. The modern world no longer defends, promotes and protects strong family life as it ought (CCC 2210). Families must now very intentionally choose to be Christian, promote virtue, protect their children from error, and be the strong building blocks that society needs.
Hopefully we here at Holy Spirit can find ways, both old and new, to strengthen marriages and family life.