Family Life: Cradled in Divine Love
Wings: A Ministry for Homeless Advocacy
Families need homes. People who don't have families need homes.
Folks without homes have no safe place to rest, eat, bathe, wash clothes, or keep their few possessions. When the safety and security of having a place to be are gone, maintaining mental and physical health becomes difficult if not impossible. Finding work, going to school, keeping clean, eating enough nutritious food, getting a good night's sleep -- all become harder. Regardless of the reasons an individual or family lands on the street, experience has shown that an essential key to recovery is regaining a safe place to live.
Wings is a non-profit advocacy group offering help in Santa Cruz County, California to people who are homeless. In the words of the group's mission statement:
WINGS HOMELESS ADVOCACY IS COMMITTED TO LIVING OUT OUR VALUES OF COMPASSION, DIGNITY AND RESPECT FOR ALL PEOPLE BY UNITING OUR COMMUNITY TO BE VOLUNTEER ADVOCATES FOR THOSE MOVING OUT OF HOMELESSNESS AND ONTO A PATH OF HEALING -- WORKING TOGETHER TO END CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY.
It's a model worthy of implementation across the country and around the world.
Creating a Happy Home -- The Benefits of Making Music
Recent scientific studies since 2000 have been able to take advantage of new brain imaging technology to show how playing music helps all of us develop at various stages of life. Singing and playing music are more beneficial than just listening to music for young children. The National Endowment for the Arts in 2011 published “The Arts and Human Development”.
Singing and making music are also central in our relationship with God and each other in our formal worship and our everyday play. To grow and flourish in mind, body, and spirit, sing and make music. Start with simple songs and nursery rhymes. Old MacDonald, The Wheels on the Bus, Row, Row Your Boat - all are good places to start with children. Don't hesitate to include some of the songs you sing at church with your children. They'll sing along happily when everyong is having fun together.
Dust off your guitar or piano, set up a keyboard program on your computer and have fun. Or make some instruments of your own!
I heard someone refer to the domestic church. What is it?
The domestic church is the church in your home.
We often think that prayer, worship, and acts of charity and justice happen only outside our home in the wider church community and its leadership or hierarchy. However, the church like charity begins at home.
Papa Francisco nos habla de la familia
En la encíclica "Laudato si'" el Papa Francisco habla de la familia como "el lugar dónde se construye una cultura de la vida compartida y del respeto a lo que nos rodea"... La sitúa entre los “ámbitos educativos" junto a la escuela, los medios de comunicación, la catequesis, etc...
Laudato Sí in Family Life
Pope Francis is clear in his encyclical, Laudato Sí, that families are among the most important educational institutions we have. As a result, children will first learn to love and care for the environment, our common home, in their own homes and from their own family members.
How can families bring the message of care for our world to their children in ways that are natural and easily grasped?
Our Sunday Visitor has some practical suggestions.
Praying with Our Holy Father
General Intention: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.
Synod on the Family
The final report to the Pope of the Synod on the Family calls for all Catholics to reach out to couples and families and to attempt to understand and help with their needs and struggles. While not changing Church doctrine, the Synod suggested more focus on a pastoral approach to supporting families in today's world. The pastoral approach recommended by the Pope and long tradition of the Church upholds the ideal of how we should live while helping people to see what God is doing in their lives and where He is leading them.
Families and Faith: Helping Your Children be Faith-Filled
Families today are struggling with the challenge to fit in a day all the things they need to do. School, childcare, meals, commute, work, marriage, parenting, pets, athletics, extended family, finances, church, house, local and broader civic issues, friends, medical needs, and recreation all require thought and planning. Everyone wants their children to be happy and, for parents with faith, this includes wanting their children to be close to God, part of a community of believers, and to have a faith-filled life. How can this be accomplished?
El Sínodo de los Obispos - Discurso del Papa Francisco
En su discurso al concluir el Sínodo de los Obispos sobre la Familia, el Papa Francisco explica,
La experiencia del Sínodo también nos ha hecho comprender mejor que los verdaderos defensores de la doctrina no son los que defienden la letra sino el espíritu; no las ideas, sino el hombre; no las fórmulas sino la gratuidad del amor de Dios y de su perdón. Esto no significa en modo alguno disminuir la importancia de las fórmulas: son necesarias; la importancia de las leyes y de los mandamientos divinos, sino exaltar la grandeza del verdadero Dios que no nos trata según nuestros méritos, ni tampoco conforme a nuestras obras, sino únicamente según la generosidad sin límites de su misericordia (cf. Rm 3,21-30; Sal 129; Lc 11,37-54). Significa superar las tentaciones constantes del hermano mayor (cf. Lc 15,25-32) y de los obreros celosos (cf. Mt 20,1-16). Más aún, significa valorar más las leyes y los mandamientos, creados para el hombre y no al contrario (cf. Mc 2,27).
Looking Ahead -- The Year of Mercy
The new church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent and Pope Francis has designated this year as the Year of Mercy. Beginning with the opening of the Holy Door (which represents Christ) on December 8, there will be many activities around the world celebrating God’s ceaseless love for us. God is always reaching out us with unlimited mercy no matter what we have done. Here is an excerpt from the Pope’s prayer:
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.
Thank you to our Contributors
Susan T. Mahan, PhD: "Families and Faith: Helping Your Children to be Faith-Filled"
Photographers and artists whose work is in the public domain:
African Mother-Child, Mattaw Orphan Village by PJM
Holy Door by Paul Bruder
Family by Jill111 via Pixaby
Kampala Family - US Dept of the Treasury employee
Prayer before Meal - Jan Steen, 1660
Woman and Child - Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)