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It is such a powerful image that it is often used for a parish, or religious communities. It is the notion of family. Bulletin announcements at the end of Mass might reference the parish family. I know in the Dominican Order we speak of the Dominican family to describes the various membership groups.
But just as the word family conjures up positive and warm feelings, so too thinking about some families has the opposite effect. In families where there has been physical or sexual abuse, for example. Homes marked by domestic violence. Families that are broken by disfunction or addiction. Families that suffer because of divorce or extramarital affairs. All of these examples do not bring the warm, fuzzy feeling to mind. And often those who come from such families do not feel the freedom to discuss the abuse, and so they suffer alone.
Yet the Second Vatican Council referenced the family as a domestic church. In Lumen Gentium, we read this: “The family is, so to speak, the domestic church.” (paragraph 11). It remains important for us to strive for this ideal. And for that to occur ever more frequently, we need to pray for the family. In so many ways the family is under attack by outside forces that cause deep suffering and hardship. As we continue the Rosary Marathon, let us pray for all families.
Today’s Intention: For all expectant women and their unborn babies. And, we pray for all those infected with the coronavirus and all the sick.