The Feast of the Holy Family
by Fr. Benedict Solomon, O.Praem.
“And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body”
Some time ago, 6th and 7th grade students from Mary Star of the Sea went to St. Michael’s Abbey. After the trip I asked one of the students who wasn’t Catholic if she liked it. She paused looking for the words, and she ended up just saying, “It was amazing, just amazing.”
The students received a brief but powerful chant performance and explanation; they were given an explanation of icon making and a spiritual talk. They stayed for midday prayer in the church then they had lunch. They were there from 9:30am to 1:30pm, a very short time. But in their brief and profound introduction to chant and their simple interaction with the joyful and hospitable seminarians, they were briefly connected to a Catholic culture, a Catholic family…
If we entered the home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph we would have experience something even more profound than what the students experienced. The silence, which is so necessary to experience God and hear His voice, would have affected us more than any words spoken.
Our homes should try to be some kind of reflection of the home of the Holy Family at Nazareth or of a Catholic monastery. The Catholic family and home should be a refuge from the world, not a petri dish where the various bacteria and viruses of the devil, the world, and the flesh can grow and multiply.
Our homes need to be a place where there is order, prayer, silence, and peace. Having children can make such an ideal seem impossible, but it isn’t. It can be easy to be in the middle of the noise and distraction and say, “What’s the point of even trying, it’s impossible.” And this attitude leads us to give in to distractions that aren’t necessary.
Just because we have to experience necessary distractions for long periods of time during the day doesn’t mean we might as well fill the short periods of peace with other distractions that happen to be more pleasant.
If we try to add some order, prayer and silence into our homes, even if it is just a short period of time each day it will become a habit. And that good habit will begin to create an atmosphere in the home that those who visit will be able to sense and be affected by.
“All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
Check out these writings from the Norbertine Fathers.
“We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.” This complaint from people our Lord says He doesn’t know suggests that, in fact, they considered themselves somewhat close to our Lord—at least at one time.
When a father first takes his young son to train him in the art of being a man, there are many apparently unrelated skills the boy has to learn one by one: throwing, catching, swinging, sprinting, sliding, and so on…
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– St. John Vianney
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