By Bishop Kevin J. Farrell
Publisher of The Texas Catholic
More and more it seems we live in a “throw-away” society. When something is no longer useful or attractive…get rid of it! This is largely due to the media that glamorizes the weird and spectacular as the good life and dismisses the normal and healthy as mundane and not newsworthy. But that is the real world where their viewers and readers live.
Marriage and family still remain the norm for most Americans. That means committing to one another for life, not until someone better comes along. It also means committing to accepting children and rearing and educating them in the faith. For them the promise of faithfulness…for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, until death…is a sacred trust.
February 7-12 is National Marriage Week USA. This national interfaith effort has three goals.
1) To elevate marriage as a national issue in the media and with policy leaders.
2) To promote the benefits of marriage, that stronger marriages bring economic stability to individuals and to the nation, and provides the best environment for thriving children.
3) To create a national calendar for existing, trusted marriage classes, conferences and events where people can find the help they need, or reach out to help others.
I encourage each of you to work to promote strong marriages and families. Pray for your marriage and family as well as those of others. Visit www.cathdal.org for some wonderful marriage resources.
Let me conclude with appropriate words from Pope Francis to families last October.
Dear families, you know very well that the true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well … True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God, the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all. And above all, a love which is patient: patience is a virtue of God and he teaches us how to cultivate it in family life, how to be patient, and lovingly so, with each other. To be patient among ourselves. A patient love. God alone knows how to create harmony from differences. But if God’s love is lacking, the family loses its harmony, self-centered individualism prevails and joy fades. But the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society as a whole.