A Real-World Joomla! Template

Family as Sign PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 August 2007 09:47

Written by Keith Strohm

We hear a lot today about the differing variations on family. We have single-parent families, same-sex parent families, blended families, and the steadily diminishing original two-parent families. It's easy, with all of this variation, to walk away with the notion that the human family is merely a biologically pragmatic arrangement or helpful social construction--the basic building block of human society.

These are, in a very certain sense, truths. However, to say that these elements define the notion of "family" in its totality is to reduce the rich significance of the family in the fullness of human life and denude its very real power for the world today. Family is not just a biological reality and a building block of society, it is also a participation in the Trinitarian Life of God Himself--particularly when it flows from the sacrament of marriage. David over at Cosmos--Liturgy--Sex has an insightful post on the rupturing effects of divorce on the family. In it, he highlights the very real sacred dimensions of marriage and family:

A family relationship has an existence, an ontology, that is more than simply the sum of its parts. It is not simply an aggregate of the multifaceted relationships among the various members of the family. The family relationship has its own existence. Its foundation begins with the marital union between wife and husband. Its ontology arises from the fact that marital union is the most unique and perfect interpersonal bodily participation in Trinitarian Communion. The marital relationship gives rise to the potency for integrating other persons (children) into it, but this marital relationship is the foundation for the entity known as the family. Thus, while the rupture of other relationships within a family can damage its over all health, the rupture of its ground–the marriage– destroys the whole. What is left is only the possibility for individual relationships. There is no whole left by which all of the multipersonal relationships can be integrated.

This is why the Apostolic Tradition speaks of a family as the domestic Church, and it is precisely because of this ontology that John Paul II said that the grace of God flows through the family. Like the Universal Church, the family is a sign and sacrament of God's love, one that can help accomplish what it signifies. God's love is made present to the world through the family united to Him and each other.

Therefore, part of the work we are called to do (transforming cultures and social institutions to render them more just and human) includes supporting the discernment and living out of solid, godly marriages, where men and women are prepared for the vocation of self sacrifice and giving, and helping the growth and nurturing of family life.

In a culture that often views multiple children as a burden rather than blessing, this is no easy task.

Yet the call remains.

Add comment

Security code

Order From Our Store


siting sundries
carrots cheap viagra read wrought cuisine If your destination is on the Northeast Corridor, this isn't a big deal (departures are every hour) but in other parts of the country the next train may not be until tomorrow. If your reservations involved sleeper accommodations (Amtrak's First Class on their long-distance overnight trains) on either your late-arriving train or your missed connection, you will get a hotel voucher for the unplanned overnight stay. Customer Service will commonly offer travel vouchers of $100 or more off future Amtrak travel to inconvenienced passengers. This is true for all classes of service. If you plan to board an Amtrak train at a location other than the train's initial place of departure, it's usually a good idea to call ahead before you leave for the station to see if the train is running on time. A major Amtrak line in regular daily use by Americans is the Acela Express line, running between Boston and Washington, D. Financial and managerial accounting principles. Basic accounting statements, processes, and management applications. Open to all students. Crocodyliform systematics and diversity, with the description of new taxa from the Cretaceous of Texas. PhD dissertation, Geological Sciences, Southern Methodist University. Digital paleoart: reconstruction and restoration from laser-scanned fossils. MS thesis, Drexel University, 228 p. She tends to spend her evenings sleeping at friends' houses. Although she appears close to her brother, I know she sees and is influenced him. She gets no reward, but the son gets free cable, food, sleeping until noon and no curfew. I don't see any change and am now having to make the hard decisions for my own life, which don't include any of the ongoing drama. My BF and I both agree that his son could not move into my home (which would ultimately be our home), so I am left to wait. Ever hopeful, he solicited funding for renewing his plans for a conquest of Mexico, but was rebuffed. Spanish Florida or British possessions in the Caribbean. After returning from Europe, Burr used the surname "Edwards," his mother's maiden name, stendra for a while to avoid creditors. With help from old friends Samuel Swartwout and Matthew L. Burr was able to return to New York and his law practice..