For God, we are children. We have a name. He loves us and wants to be near us. On my retreat two weekends ago, the priest told us:
Whoever does not know that she/she is a child of God does not know THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about him/herself!
Sadly, for so many of our young people today, God is a complete stranger, much less a loving Father, and I can’t help but think that this is largely due to the break-down of the family.
By calling the two to become “one flesh”, God’s intention was to make Himself visible through the love between parents, “so that every child could glimpse the divine Fatherhood in his own human father and mother” (Called to Love, p. 121). This is why the institution of marriage is so important for the good of children and society.
Unfortunately, many young people grow up without this great image before them. According to recent records, 4 out of every 10 U.S. babies are born out of wed-lock and, of course, we all know about our unacceptably high rate of divorce!
This is not to say that a single mother or father cannot by themselves be for his/her child(ren) an adequate image of God’s love or that all married couples perfectly live out their vocation to love as God loves, for that matter. Nevertheless, it was God’s will from the beginning that children be born and raised in a home where both mother and father are present, together, giving themselves to one another, and their children, just a God gives Himself freely to His Son (and the Son gives Himself in return) and to all mankind.
“Marriage is a vocation. Parenthood is a vocation…In fact, in many ways, the love between a husband and wife is the foundation stone upon which every other Christian vocation is built. Strong marriages and families make a vital, joy-filled Church. The opposite is also true: Families who are lukewarm in their love for God and indifferent in their worship weaken every other dimension of Catholic life. That’s why the Church so urgently needs men and women who can provide the example and guidance our families need.” (Archbishop Chaput, Denver)
St. Joseph, Pillar of family life, pray for us.