The last Sunday of the year is usually given over to celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family. That’s a pretty impressive title isn’t it, “Holy Family.” I bet they had to go on a lot of family dates to earn that moniker…
Or maybe not.
Actually, according to Pope Francis, there are three main habits a family must develop in order to mirror the holy one of Jesus, Mary & Joseph. They are…
Prayer: “The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents… praying for each other. This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: prayer.”
Faith: “How do we keep our faith as a family? Do we keep it for ourselves, in our families, as a personal treasure like a bank account, or are we able to share it by our witness, by our acceptance of others, by our openness?… Christian families are missionary families. …They are missionary in everyday life, in their doing everyday things, as they bring to everything the salt and the leaven of faith!”
Joy: “True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God, the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all.”
So… prayer, faith and joy. According to Pope Francis, those are the three keys to start your family on the path to holiness. Rigidly controlled dinnertimes are apparently optional.