Sunday, December 27, 2015

Spirituality: "The Holy Family" by John XXIII, Prayers and Devotions

Today is the festival of the family, which means the exaltation of our human affections which are not only most dear to us, but most holy and sacred.

We like to think of all the Christian families moving along the road in the company of the Three Wise Men of the East, following the track of light marked on the earth by the Star of Bethlehem. And we like to think of Jesus welcoming them all, comforting and sustaining them, showing them with infinite graciousness that all must learn from his love, and from the shining example of the Holy Family.

O my beloved children, here we have the sublime example of family life; here the love of God shines as if in its own fiery source; here burns the flame of mutual love. Do you know what those lights are that make the night of Christmas, and the night of the visit of the Wise Men such a festival of light? All these lights have names: gentleness and obedience, simplicity and humility, resignation and sacrifice, a radiance which sheds its glow on all Christian families.

O may peace and tranquility reign, may prayer and obedience to God’s law, and obedience which is prompt and loving, be honored by all! Without God, my children, there is nothing but unhappiness and anxiety. May parents be generous and set their children good example, so that they may receive their willing obedience. As Jesus lived at Nazareth, so may he live in every Christian family; may he keep our families united in his love, in an everlasting bond, for every hour of time and for eternity. So Jesus will guard that domestic peace which alone can soothe the bitter sorrows of life.