(Eph 5:31-33) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother: and shall cleave to his wife. And they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament: but I speak in Christ and in the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular love for his wife as himself: And let the wife fear her husband.
HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL: Putting the Family First
FIRST THINGS: Reclaiming the Houshold
CRISIS MAGAZINE: Parenting in the Image of God
REGINA PROPHETARUM AUDIO HOMILY: Humble Hearts of Families Change the Order of Things
St. Ephrem speaking about Our Lady, said: “The Belly [i.e., the womb] of Thy Mother changed the order of things, O Thou that orderest all! The rich went in, He came out poor: the High One went in, He came out lowly. Brightness went into her and clothed Himself, and came forth a despised form” (Hymns on the Nativity, VIII). The same doctor and father gives many other examples of how the womb of Our Lady, the Heart of the Holy Family, changed the order of things.
We could extend this to all wives and mothers who truly fulfill their state in life… they, being the heart, when taking their place and acting in imitation of the Blessed Virgin change the order of things for the good! What an awesome reality! The Scriptures and Tradition tell us the proper order in a family. “Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:21-22); “Wives be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth the Lord” (Col. 8:18). Ah. These are among the unspoken and forbidden passages of the Scriptures in these days. This fact is very telling. Although the husband is the head of the household… head of the family, it is the wife who is the heart. And things are changed only when they pass through the heart that is in its place. Let us look into the life of one of these saintly mothers… Bd. Anna Maria Taigi.
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION: Complete my Joy by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted
EXCERPT: Enemy of God, Enemy of the Family
If this is “natural” for a Christian family, then why is it so hard? Here we run into a real difficulty, and another mystery: the mystery of sin and evil. Before they fell, love was easy for our first parents, Adam and Eve, but after falling to the temptation to try to be gods themselves, love became hard—and love remains hard in this life. The soil no longer obeys Adam easily, childbirth is a matter of pain for Eve. We face disease, and earthquakes, and bedbugs. Family life exists now on a spiritual battlefield. You have as spouses and parents the choice either to engage the challenge as an adventure or to abandon the field in some way. There is no escape from this choice—not to choose is, in fact, to choose retreat.
Satan, the enemy of God and of all of His creation, is profoundly aware of the centrality of the family in God’s plan and its irreplaceable role as an icon of the Trinity. We shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, that this leader of the evil angels would aggressively target the family with all of his cunning and resources. St. Paul assures us that it is Satan who is behind the great battles that we face, “Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with…the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Before her death in 2005, Sr. Lucia, one of the three visionaries visited by Our Lady at Fatima, wrote in a letter to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra that “the final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family. Don’t be afraid because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.”
Sister Lucia’s words are alarming, but also encouraging. The final war has already been won! Nevertheless, the battle raging around us is real. On every side, and painfully even within our own families, we experience destructive attacks that only a short time ago would have seemed unimaginable
Despite these real challenges, this is not the moment for us to become discouraged or lose heart, for that would be to forget that “where sin increases, grace abounds all the more,” (Romans 5:20)and that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:38) The breaches in the civilization of love and culture of life are many, but they call us not to despair. Rather, they challenge us to unflagging trust in the Lord and Giver of life, to radical reliance on God’s grace and mercy, and to personal engagement in the domestic church on behalf of love and life.
Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- “On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues”
44. Despondency is born sometimes of luxury, and sometimes of lack of fear of God.
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This month’s archive can be found at: http://www.catholicprophecy.info/news2.html.