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Flourishing and Holy Families: Family Reflection Video

Flourishing and Holy Families: Family Reflection Video

Strengthening family unity

I really love the fall here in New England! We have a lot of clear and beautiful days to enjoy the fields and the orchards ripe for harvest. The forests and the hills become so colorful as the leaves turn. Nature and the changing of the seasons sing to us and teach us of the cycles of life and of coming to fruition.

There’s a simple principle we see in the way God has created life. When life is cared for, that is, when plants and animals are given what they need and the right conditions, they will tend to grow and flourish toward becoming what they are meant to be - and will then create more abundant life!

That includes us humans too! This is what Paul is saying to us today, as he admonishes his young disciple, Titus, to teach faithfully. Paul is offering concrete and realistic advice about what promotes human flourishing to become what God created us for. Paul says that we live for the blessed hope of the glory of God, of being the people of Jesus, of sharing His life.

Let’s be honest, however, and recognize that when some people hear what Paul says they think: “There go you Christians; always saying NO.” They accuse the Church of just trying to control and repress people! They want “freedom”! But they promote a false freedom that leads to self-centeredness, loneliness, addiction, and other forms of slavery! Ads promote, “Just do it.” “If it feels good, do it.” “Recreate yourself.” More and more, this false freedom has fueled a subjectivist, false idea of truth, that there is no Truth, really; only what one thinks or perceives.

But then, on the other hand, even some of the same people say, “I believe in science.” Well then, follow the science. What the science actually shows more and more clearly is that the Christian vision of personal relationships as Paul is talking about, particularly about marriage and family, is what leads to human flourishing and real freedom.

One of the most beautiful things in the world is the Christian family! Sure, each Christian family is messy and has lots of challenges. People make mistakes. That’s part of the point. A garden needs constant tending. Further, a family needs to be part of the bigger family, the community of the Church. At the heart of the work is faith; truly putting the Lord in the center, keeping Him there - and acting from there!

Father Patrick Peyton understood that and spent himself for 50 years encouraging families to understand and to turn to Jesus with Mary. His famous message is meant to remind us all of his vision. Let’s say it again: The family that prays together stays together!

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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.

Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!