Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family – a model of perfection for all families. Pope Paul VI on Nazareth and family life:
May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be. May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplifying its basic function in society: a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings; in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children – and for this there is no substitute.
There is no doubt that the family is under attack in today’s society. I don’t have time for much of a post here – I was cooking all day and we had a little Christmas party to attend this evening. But I would like to offer you two documents written by the late JPII on the family and how it is the “fundamental cell of society.”
From his Letter to Families :
Every effort should be made so that the family will be recognized as the primordial and, in a certain sense “sovereign” society! The “sovereignty” of the family is essential for the good of society. A truly sovereign and spiritually vigorous nation is always made up of strong families who are aware of their vocation and mission in history. The family is at the heart of all these problems and tasks. To relegate it to a subordinate or secondary role, excluding it from its rightful position in society, would be to inflict grave harm on the authentic growth of society as a whole.
There is also his Apostolic Exhortation: Familiaris Consortio:
28. With the creation of man and woman in His own image and likeness, God crowns and brings to perfection the work of His hands: He calls them to a special sharing in His love and in His power as Creator and Father, through their free and responsible cooperation in transmitting the gift of human life: “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'”(80)
Thus the fundamental task of the family is to serve life, to actualize in history the original blessing of the Creator-that of transmitting by procreation the divine image from person to person.(81)