Family Life in Christ

Written by Gary Shirley

God ordainedrepparttar Christian family to have a specific design - a man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children. The family is calledrepparttar 126933 domestic church because it is a community of faith, hope and charity. Withinrepparttar 126934 family, we first learn to respectrepparttar 126935 sanctity of life from conception to natural death. This means welcoming children intorepparttar 126936 marriage through birth or adoption but also learning to show reverence forrepparttar 126937 life of others such asrepparttar 126938 elderly,repparttar 126939 infirm,repparttar 126940 poor,repparttar 126941 disabled, andrepparttar 126942 imprisoned.

Every member ofrepparttar 126943 Christian family has a God-ordained function. Though equal inrepparttar 126944 sight of God, men and women have entirely different responsibilities. As stated so clearly inrepparttar 126945 Catechism: “Divine fatherhood isrepparttar 126946 source of human fatherhood...” which reaffirmsrepparttar 126947 importance of man’s function asrepparttar 126948 head ofrepparttar 126949 family. Though equal (as God) torepparttar 126950 Father, Christ himself lived and died in supreme obedience torepparttar 126951 will ofrepparttar 126952 Father. Throughout faith history, men have been called to leadership roles by God, from Adam to Noah to David to Moses to Paul to Peter. This call to leadership does not necessarily infer perfection, capability or skill, butrepparttar 126953 call is nonetheless intrinsic to manhood. Pervasive gender-role confusion in our society today makes it is easy to dismiss or compromise this primordial function of men to lead their families to God.

To carry out their responsibility, men are to be servant leader of all in their charge. Leaders provide a clear vision, set a solid example, and help others in their pursuit of holiness. Fathers must ensure that their children are brought up inrepparttar 126954 faith,repparttar 126955 beginning of which is their own life being one of Christian holiness. Men who abdicate their leadership responsibility under some mistaken notion of “sensitivity” bring disorder intorepparttar 126956 family andrepparttar 126957 society. A simple review of crime statistics in our land revealsrepparttar 126958 terrible impact of fathers who ignored or minimized their prescribed role.

Woman’s role as wife and mother differs from but complements that ofrepparttar 126959 man. St. Paul reminds us of God’s intent to provide a helpmate and partner to man, “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”(1 Cor 11: 8-9).

Modeling themselves onrepparttar 126960 Blessed Mother, women are called to support and honor their husband’s role asleader ofrepparttar 126961 family. In her function as wife and mother, a woman brings wonderful attributes such as nurturing care, tenderness and compassion to family life. As with her husband, a wife is called to a life of holiness and Christian example.

Children are called to proffer respect for parents out of gratitude for having given themrepparttar 126962 gift of life (CCC #2216-2218)*. Respect is shown by docility and obedience to parents during one’s childhood. Obedience ceases with emancipation, but respect does not. Grown children are reminded to assist their aging parents as much as possible with material and moral support, as well as in times of illness, loneliness and distress.

Sacramental marriage isrepparttar 126963 foundation ofrepparttar 126964 family. It isrepparttar 126965 gift of self, a gift that is freely given and total in nature. The perpetual and exclusive bond of marriage createsrepparttar 126966 sanctuary whereinrepparttar 126967 security ofrepparttar 126968 family rests. The sacred covenant finds its physical manifestation inrepparttar 126969 sexual intimacy ofrepparttar 126970 marriage act between man and wife (CCC #2360; also Tob 8: 4-9). Reflecting this covenant,repparttar 126971 spouses’ physical union honorsrepparttar 126972 twofold end of marriage, which is to serverepparttar 126973 good ofrepparttar 126974 spouses (the “unitive”) and to be open torepparttar 126975 transmission of life (the “procreative”).

Children arerepparttar 126976 supreme gift of marriage, in contrast to our societal view which considers them a “right.” In our zeal to conceive a child at all costs, medical science offers us numerous techniques that attempt to produce a child byrepparttar 126977 disassociation of husband and wife orrepparttar 126978 involvement of a third party (such as donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus, or in-vitro fertilization). These actions violaterepparttar 126979 child’s right to be born of a loving act of father and mother. All such techniques are morally unacceptable (CCC # 2376-77). It is impossible to liverepparttar 126980 sacramental life while engaging in such practices, for we knowingly introduce other persons and processes intorepparttar 126981 loving act of procreation, an act that belongs rightly to husband, wife and God.

The intentional spacing of children, if undertaken for just reasons, also demands that we observe moral norms. Periodic continence (methods based on self-observation andrepparttar 126982 use of infertile periods, such as Natural Family Planning) respectsrepparttar 126983 individual spouses and offers a mutually supportive, natural means of spacing. Onrepparttar 126984 other hand, artificial birth control or any action which frustrates or thwartsrepparttar 126985 normal outcome ofrepparttar 126986 procreative act defrauds God and falsifiesrepparttar 126987 marital act. All such methods are morally unacceptable (CCC #2370).

My Finest Cutoffs

Written by Gary Shirley

Andy looked inrepparttar mirror to give himselfrepparttar 126932 “once over” before heading outrepparttar 126933 door torepparttar 126934 most important event of his life. He finally had his chance to interview with Zenon Industries. Undoubtedlyrepparttar 126935 finest company in his field, landing a job with Zenon meant unlimited career possibilities coupled with great security.

Andy had prepared for weeks to have allrepparttar 126936 right answers to potential interview questions. He had splurged on a quality business suit, Italian shoes and even a new briefcase. One thing he had learned long ago was to always dress one level aboverepparttar 126937 position sought, so to project an image of promotability. Andy was pleased with his preparations, his appearance and his attitude. He was pumped, for this day was important and it deserved his best effort. As he headed outrepparttar 126938 door, Andy’s seven-year-old son Colin promised that he and Mom would pray for Dad “all day long.”

The hiring staff at Zenon experienced an interview with a true professional in top form. Andy did a stellar job. Driving home afterrepparttar 126939 interview he reviewed everything in his mind. He was convinced that he came across well and thatrepparttar 126940 job was as good as filled. Andy’s confidence was soon rewarded, for onrepparttar 126941 following Friday he gotrepparttar 126942 call. Zenon offered a package he could not believe. Besides a hefty raise and improved benefits, he would getrepparttar 126943 hoped-for company car and a signing bonus. Most definitely news worth celebrating.

Saturday brought a night onrepparttar 126944 town like he and his wife Karen had never had in their lives. A five-star meal, expensive seats atrepparttar 126945 theater, and dancing intorepparttar 126946 night. Everything was perfect. All of his sacrifices inrepparttar 126947 past made this accomplishment taste even sweeter. The future was bright and portended great things.

Sunday dawned and Andy crawled out of bed still basking inrepparttar 126948 glow of his good fortune. The family usually went to 10:45 Mass so that they had a bit of time to relax before heading outrepparttar 126949 door. Reflecting on his good fortune, Andy realized thatrepparttar 126950 most important thank-you was yet to come. God had given him a golden moment and it was right to offer thanks in person. Stopping atrepparttar 126951 same mirror he used forrepparttar 126952 “once over,” he silently nodded his approval for his chosen Sunday Mass attire.

Andy had on his finest cutoff shorts, a T-shirt emblazoned withrepparttar 126953 logo of his favorite sports team and his best sneakers. Perfect. Oncerepparttar 126954 Mass is over, Andy thought, we can roll right intorepparttar 126955 day. Maybe we’ll have a “second celebration” ofrepparttar 126956 new job withrepparttar 126957 entire family...a stop at Macaroni Grill for lunch, followed by ice cream. Hey, why not?

Enroute to church, Andy was feeling proud and grateful. He commented to his wife how very important this Mass was, for there was so much for which he needed to express gratitude. Hearing his Dad express, once again, how important a coming event was, Colin piped up with his usual, brutal candor. “Daddy,” Colin said, “If Mass is important, just likerepparttar 126958 thing you didrepparttar 126959 other day, how come you aren’t wearing that special suit again? Doesn’t God like to see you dressed up too?”

Andy,repparttar 126960 man with allrepparttar 126961 answers at Zenon, was speechless. In his mind he ran through allrepparttar 126962 comebacks he could make. Excuses like, “God only cares what is in our hearts” or “God isn’t interested in outward appearance” or “God loves us no matter what we wear” were lame and unconvincing. Colin had managed, in his childhood innocence, to lay barerepparttar 126963 truth. The boy’s comment cut like a laser throughrepparttar 126964 new hero of Zenon Industries. God, quite simply, was not worthrepparttar 126965 effort. Andy knew it was true. Zenon was worth a new suit, power tie and Italian shoes. The Maker ofrepparttar 126966 universe merited cutoffs and a T-shirt. God got no better thanrepparttar 126967 clothes that I would wear to changerepparttar 126968 oil in my car, Andy thought. He realized that his message was, “I am grateful, Lord, but not enough to raise you aboverepparttar 126969 everyday, so I’ll give thanks dressed like I just mowedrepparttar 126970 lawn.”

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