Faith Begins at Home

The Family is the Domestic Church

In 2014, Pope Francis addressed participants in the 37th National Convocation of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis shed light on how families are the domestic Church, where Jesus grows; he grows in the love of spouses, he grows in the lives of children. That is why the enemy so often attacks the family. The devil does not want the family; he tries to destroy it, to make sure that there is no love there. Married couples are sinners, like us all, but they want to go forward in faith, in fruitfulness, in their children and their children’s faith. He called upon the Lord to bless families and strengthen them in this time of crisis when the devil is seeking to destroy them. (Source: Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

The Holy Family: an icon of the Domestic Church
“The Holy Family is an icon of the domestic Church, which is called to pray together. The family is the first school of prayer where, from their infancy, children learn to perceive God thanks to the teaching and example of their parents. An authentically Christian education cannot neglect the experience of prayer. If we do not learn to pray in the family, it will be difficult to fill this gap later. I would, then, like to invite people to rediscover the beauty of praying together as a family, following the school of the Holy Family of Nazareth”.  Pope Benedict XVI

According to Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus’ first words to Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:41-51) – “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house” – pronounced when Mary and Joseph found Him sitting among the teachers in the Temple, are a key to understanding Christian prayer.

“From that moment, the life of the Holy Family became even richer in prayer, because the profound significance of the relationship with God the Father began to spread from the Heart of the boy (then adolescent, then young man) Jesus to the hearts of Mary and Joseph. The Family of Nazareth was the first model of the Church in which, in the presence of Jesus and thanks to His mediation, a filial rapport with God came to transform even interpersonal relations”.

Family Bonding Tips

1. Say grace before meals

Ask each member of your family to take turns and offer thanksgiving to God before family meals.

2. Be present

Give your family members your presence instead of presents. Prioritise spending quality time with your children and spouse over work, and exclude mobile phones during mealtimes, whenever possible.

3. Have weekly family sharing sessions

Spend an hour or two in prayer as a family, before reflecting on the mass readings for that day. Take this time to share your week and encounters with God with your family.

4. Plan family outings and activities

Bring the family out for a walk, play sports or board games, catch a movie, visit a local attraction, or volunteer for a cause together.

5. Keep Sundays for God and your family

Go to church together as a family.

By Charlene Sng