Blog Post

Pope Encourages Family Life

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer In his video address to participants at the Sixth World Meeting of Families in Mexico City, Pope Benedict XVI said families must become “a living Gospel which everyone may read” and called upon Christians everywhere to work for “adequate cultural, juridical, economic, social and health protection for families,” and support for freedom of choice in the schooling of their children. Reflecting on the Meeting’s theme, “The family, teacher of human and Christian values,” the Pope said: “. . . (T)he domestic environment is a school of humanity and Christian life for all its members, with beneficial consequences for people, the Church and society. “In fact, the home is called to practice and cultivate reciprocal love and truth, respect and justice, loyalty and collaboration, service and readiness to help others, especially the weakest. The Christian home . . . must be impregnated with the presence of God, placing the events of every day in His hands and asking His help to accomplish its vital mission." Prayer is vitally important to the Christian family, he said, and encouraged families to pray together. "The Master is definitely present in the family that listens to and meditates upon the Word of God, that learns what is most important in life from Him and puts His teachings into practice," he said. This is how the family as well as its individual members can be gradually transformed and improved, he continued. In addition to being a crucial activity for transmitting the faith to children, it also gives the family the pleasure of being together and unites them more powerfully, “like a house built upon rock.” Prayer is also the strength which enables the family to fulfil another vital role – witnessing to Christ in the world around them. “(F)amilies must bring their witness of life and their explicit profession of faith to their surroundings, such as schools and associations, and must make a commitment to the catechetical formation of their children and to the pastoral activities of their parish community, especially activities associated with preparation for marriage or specifically directed at family life,” he said. He also said that because of its essential social function, “the family has the right for its specific identity to be recognised and not confused with other forms of coexistence.” For this reason, it should be ensured adequate cultural, juridical, economic, social and health protection as well as access to the education or school of their choice for their children. Finally the Holy Father underlined the need "to develop a family culture and family policies that are driven by families themselves" and encouraged his audience to join associations that promote the identity and rights of the family.  © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. Healing of the Family by Father Philip Scott and Mother Mary Elizabeth is a powerful five-tape series packed full of necessary tools, both spiritual and temporal, to not only arm your family, but to provide the inspiration you need to fulfill your role in the family as a son or daughter of God. Available in our store at