What is the role of the family in society?

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The secret of happiness lies not in not suffering, but in how to face suffering.

Newsroom (October 12, 2021 16:48, Gaudium Press) The first human institution was not governmental, nor economic, nor even labor.

When Adam was created, and Eve formed from his side, they constituted the first human family, the beginning and cause of all others. From the beginning, as the Savior later reaffirmed (cf. Mk 10:6-8), God created man and woman, who, united according to the eternal plan of his wisdom, “are one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

The Sacrament

The solidity and stability of this union – whose sublimity was elevated to a Sacrament by Christ himself as the Founder of the Church – are rooted in the fact that it is worked by God himself, although ministered by the spouses: the initiative is human, but the result is divine, since man has no power to annul it.

This reality was sanctioned by the Redeemer with a clear command: “let no man separate what God has joined together” (Mt 19:6). This was one of the elements that opposed Him to the Pharisees: very concerned about the human aspects, and little interested in the divine designs, they tried to distort the Mosaic principles to adapt religion to their passions.

Jesus Christ, however, did not give the slightest margin to their anxieties; obstinate and impenitent, with this and other attitudes, the Pharisees voluntarily pushed themselves to the margin of History…

From marriage conceived according to the Christian vision, emerged the families that gave birth to the societies inspired by the Gospel, destined to make the fruits of the Spirit flourish: “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance” (Gal 5, 22-23).

In a very organic way, the man met a woman and, motivated by charity, they decided to get married; they faced difficulties, but persevered together. The years went by, and both got along very well! This is how societies lasted for twenty centuries…

New “families

But then divorce and ever more bizarre forms of “families” appeared; and the problems, instead of decreasing, increased…

And so we have reached a situation where the family is suffering from a global crisis, to the point where it is now a real crossroads in history.

In fact, in an almost cyclical way, the hardness of heart that Jesus had denounced in the Pharisees (cf. Mk 10:5) shows itself again and again: with more or less similar pretexts, they always try to twist the truth so as to think they have the right to demand that God justifies the effects of unregulated passions.

Where can the remedy for this ancient evil be found again?

The Solution

For the same problem, the same solution applies. Yesterday, as today and forever, man on this earth can never avoid pain. The secret of happiness, therefore, is not in not suffering, but in how to face suffering.

The happiness of a well-established family rests on the Rock on which it is built (cf. Lk 6:48); as long as both spouses are ablaze with the love of God, they neither fear nor falter; even when they suffer, they are filled with spiritual joy.

The key to the happiness of a given society consists, therefore, in being made up of families whose spouses yearn for holiness. In this way, acting everywhere in holiness, […] they consecrate their world to God. (LG 34)

Texto extraído da Revista Arautos do Evangelho outubro 2015.

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