The eyes of the Church are turned toward helping marriages and families. The face of God is turned toward our greatest needs for healing and holiness. Family life is a holy privilege that requires the work of prayer and sacrifice, the dedication to self-emptying love for the good of the other. Marriage and family is worth every effort! Truly, God does the greater part.
The Holy Rosary is a prayer of healing, intercession, and deliverance. It is a weapon of prayer because it contains the Gospel mysteries, the dynamic revelation of the victorious Lamb of God who saves and loves us. May these reflections bring blessing and healing to those who pray them!
The Creation of the Family
Reading from the book of Genesis (Gen 2,7,21-24; 1, 27-28)
John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 28.
With the creation of man and woman in His own image and likeness, God crowns and brings to perfection the work of His hands: He calls them to a special sharing in His love and in His power as Creator and Father, through their free and responsible cooperation in transmitting the gift of human life: God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’ Thus the fundamental task of the family is to serve life, to actualize in history the original blessing of the Creator, that of transmitting by procreation the divine image from person to person.
Lord Jesus, we pray that all persons of good will might come to know the gift and beauty of marriage according to the divine plan. Grant married couples to welcome the undeserved gift of children. We pray for the domestic church to become a sign in the world for the defense of marriage and human life. Transform our homes into houses of prayer please. Incline your heart to the cries that arise from families in need of spiritual and temporal help. Please look with favor upon our family. Only you can heal our wounds so that we are set free to love as you ask. We turn to you who are the divine physician to dispense the healing medicine of divine mercy. We pray for the grace to love and forgive one another as you have loved and forgiven us.
The Second Mystery
Marriage as an indissoluble union
Reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 19, 3-9)
Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, II.
Love causes man to find fulfillment through the sincere gift of self. To love means to give and to receive something which can be neither bought nor sold, but only given freely and mutually. By its very nature the gift of the person must be lasting and irrevocable. The indissolubility of marriage flows in the first place from the very essence of that gift: the gift of one person to another person. This reciprocal giving of self reveals the spousal nature of love. In their marital consent the bride and the groom call each other by name, “I…take you…as my wife (as my husband) and I promise to be true to you…for all the days of my life.”
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, we pray that our society protects and promotes the indissolubility of marriage according your plan for humanity. On behalf of all marriages and families, we plead for the grace of fidelity to our sacramental covenant. May we trust in the plentitude of your always-sufficient amazing grace! If, due to our human weakness or sins, our family has been hurt by the breakdown of a marriage, grant us the abundant grace needed for healing, hope and holiness. Please strengthen the faith, hope and love of couples and families. Hold us closely in the love of your Sacred Heart wherein you make all things new. Reveal to families the unfailing power of a covenant of love.
The Third Mystery
Forgiveness in Marriage
Reading from the Gospel of John (Jn 8, 3-11).
Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, 11.
Do not be afraid of the risks! God’s strength is always far more powerful than your difficulties! Immeasurably greater than the evil at work in the world is the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which the Fathers of the Church rightly called a “second Baptism”. Much more influential than the corruption present in the world is the divine power of the Sacrament of Confirmation, which brings Baptism to its maturity. And incomparable greater than all is the power of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is truly a wondrous sacrament. In it Christ has given us himself as food and drink, as a source of saving power. He has left himself to us that we might have life and have it in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10).
Lord Jesus, we are very imperfect creatures but your mercy endures forever. You did not condemn the woman caught in adultery but you asked her to sin no more. Divine mercy converted her heart and life. In forgiving sinners, you shed light upon the love which the Father shows to those who fail, in order that they may have another opportunity to find hope in you. We pray for those who feel betrayed and hurt in their marriage so that they might receive your healing in order for them to be able to forgive. We also pray for those who have hurt their children and extended relatives so they might repent, and be able to ask forgiveness from those they have hurt. Grant that marriages and families abide in merciful love; and be aware of the open arms of the Father who welcomes back the Prodigal child.
Mary: Mother and Queen of the Family
Reading from the Gospel of John (Jn 19: 25-17)
John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 61.
Authentic devotion to Mary, which finds expression in sincere love and generous imitation of the Blessed Virgin’s interior spiritual attitude, constitutes a special instrument of nourishing loving communion in the family and for developing conjugal and family spirituality. For she who is the Mother of Christ and of the Church is in a special way the Mother of Christian families, of domestic Churches.
Lord Jesus please help us to accept Mary as the mother and queen of our families. Help us to follow her devotion to the family at Nazareth. We entrust to her protection all families. Through Mary’s intercession, we ask that, in your mercy, you draw back to the fold the relatives that have separated themselves from you. Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we implore the grace for authentic self-emptying love to fill the domestic church. We plead that Mary walk and work in and with all marriages and families to do what she did for the family at Cana; that is, intercede to her Son Jesus for the miracles that we need. As Mary went with haste to her cousin Elizabeth (Lk 1: 39-56), please send her to families who are in great need of her maternal presence and aid.
The Eucharist and the Family
Reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 26, 26-28)
John Paul II, Letter to Families, 18.
Did not Jesus institute the Eucharist in a family like setting during the Last Supper? When you meet for meals and are together in harmony, Christ is close to you. And he is Emmanuel, God with us, in an even greater way whenever you approach the table of the Eucharist. It can happen, as it did at Emmaus, that he is recognized only in “in the breaking of the bread” (cf. Lk 24:35). It may well be that he can enter and eat with us (cf. Rev 3:20). The Last Supper and the words he spoke contain all the power and wisdom of the sacrifice of the Cross. No other power and wisdom exist by which we can be saved and through which we help to save others. There is no other power and not other wisdom by which you, parents, can educate both your children and yourselves. The educational power of the Eucharist has been proven down the generations and centuries.
Lord Jesus, we pray that our families may be strengthened through the Eucharist. We ask that the Eucharist will truly be the power of love for every family. We implore you to transfigure us to become as life-giving bread for one another, that we may joyfully and faithfully lay down our lives for the greater good of the family. By the power of your Body and Blood, grant that our body and soul are filled with your Holy Spirit, His gifts and grace. Grant us the joy of loving and serving one another in humility. As often as we receive you in the Eucharist, grant that we reaffirm our commitment to live our vocation as family and thereby increase your presence on earth.
Family Entrustment to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
St. Joseph you are “a just man,” a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to your care. May you always guard, protect and enlighten all families.
Mary, Mother of the Church, also be the “Mother of the Church of the Home” and through your motherly aid, may each Christian family become a “little Church” in which the mystery of Jesus Christ is mirrored and given new life.
Mary, Handmaid of the Lord, be an example to our families of humble and generous acceptance of the will of God.
Mary, Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross, comfort the sufferings and dry the tears of those in distress because of the difficulties of their families.
Lord Jesus, the King of Mercy, and King of Families, be present in every Christian home as you were at Cana, bestowing miracles of grace, joy, peace and strength upon every family.