THE TWELVE CLIPS OF CHRISTMAS: DAY 6: THE MOST AWFUL FAMILY IN BRITAIN

Today on this 6th day of Christmas we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, a group of people Pope John Paul II once described as an “example for all Christian and human families… [one which] radiates genuine love and charity.” And they were pretty much perfect when you think about it, what with the family including an incarnated God, his mother made sinless by a special grace and privilege, and a stepfather who was a proper saint in his own right. But with such an overwhelming amount of perfection concentrated in one family, one can’t help but wonder about enantiodromia, that old Greek idea expounded upon by Carl Jung which The Collins English dictionary defines as the concept that an abundance of any force can cause an opposite reaction. If there’s any truth to be found in enantiodromia (always questionable with Jung), then just imagine what opposite reaction the abundance of perfection found in the Holy Family might produce. Perhaps it would look something like this…

Okay, so obviously all families aren’t as perfect as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Not to worry though, you won’t find us judging anyone around these parts (when your own family tree has a branch way down the trunk that ended in the electric chair you tend not to throw stones at others). But even those of us who struggle with trying to keep our less than perfect families on a Christian path still understand the importance of making the effort. And we understand how that effort affects not just the people in our own home, but in others as well. As the Catechism notes, “The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity.”

It’s with that understanding that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “have called for a nationwide effort to advance a movement for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty through prayer, penance, and sacrifice. Catholics across the nation are being encouraged to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty… The goal of this call to prayer is twofold: (1) to increase awareness of these challenges and (2) to build spiritual stamina and fortitude among the faithful so that we can be effective and joyful witnesses of faith, hope, and charity and agents of the New Evangelization.” The Bishops are asking (not demanding, but asking) that starting today, the Sunday after Christmas, Catholics around the country consider participating in one or all of the following five activities:

Monthly Eucharistic Holy Hours in cathedrals and parishes
Daily Rosary by families and individuals
Special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses
Fasting and abstinence from meat on Fridays
A Fortnight for Freedom in June/July 2013

Again, they’re asking, not demanding, so think about it why don’t you.

David

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