Today’s feast of the Holy Family reminds us of the fundamental importance of this ‘basic building block’ of each and every society, not just Catholic ones. Although Christian revelation and practice elevate and perfect the family unit, making it a true ecclesia domestica, a kind of domestic Church, there can be no society at all without the family even at a natural level: Husband, wife and their children. Any deviation from this ideal leads to some level of diminution in society, and the greater the deviation, the worse will be its effects. As Pope Saint John Paul II so aptly put it, ‘as the family goes, so goes society‘.
We are sadly witnessing, even amongst self-proclaimed Catholics, a tolerance of, even State support for, deviancies of the most bizarre variety: From adulterous liasons, homosexuality, transgenderism, gender dysphoria, three-person-parents, polygamy, grandmothers bearing the children of their own sterile daughters in some demonic inversion of biblical miracles…and on it goes.
We could despair, or just quietly read today’s meditation in the Office of Readings by Pope Saint Paul VI, praising the ‘hidden life’ of Our Lady, Saint Joseph and the Christ child at Nazareth, counsels us to sit in silence before the Holy Family, to learn the value of hidden work, of obedience, of evangelizing the world not just – not even primarily – by our own example, but by the very fact that we do unknown work for God and His kingdom.
So to all the families out there, in the day to day duties of domesticity: Hang on and persevere! You know not the full benefit and effect of your work, and how much you are not only saving your souls and those of your children, but truly sanctifying the world…