THEME 7 : THE FAMILY, THE CRADLE AND SANCTUARY OF LIFE

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 3: 16-19

"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are." Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of the world is folly with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their craftiness.'"

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

The family is truly the sanctuary of life: the place in which life - the gift of God - can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. Consequently the role of the family in building a culture of life is decisive and irreplaceable.

If the family is so important for the civilization of love, it is because of the particular closeness and intensity of the bonds which come to be between persons and generations within the family. This is why the culture of death attacks the family, because it is the centre and the heart of the civilization of love. However, the family remains vulnerable and can easily fall prey to dangers which weaken it or destroy its unity and stability.

But the Church firmly believes that human life, even if weak and suffering, is always a splendid gift of God's goodness. Against the pessimism and selfishness which cast a shadow over the world, the Church stands for life: In each human life she sees the splendor of that "yes", that "amen", who is Christ himself (cf. 2 Corinthians 1: 19; Revelation 3: 14). To the "no" which assails and afflicts the world, she replies with this living "yes", thus defending the human person and the world from all who plot against and harm life.

The Church...promotes human life by every means and defends it against all attacks in whatever condition or state of development it is found. Thus the Church condemns as a great offense against human dignity and justice all those activities of governments or other public authorities which attempt to limit in any way the freedom of couples in deciding about children. Consequently any violence applied by such authorities in favor of contraception or, still worse, of sterilization and procured abortion must be altogether condemned and forcefully rejected.

Likewise to be denounced as gravely unjust are cases where in international relations economic help given for the advancement of peoples is made conditional on programs of contraception, sterilization and procured abortion. (cf. Familiaris Consortio, Centesimus Annus, Evangelium Vitae)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

Why is the family the best environment for the birth, growth and education of children?

What are the ways to help families where the children are in danger?

How can mothers be helped who are tempted to have an abortion? How can mothers be helped who have already had an abortion?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 68 (69)

"Save me, O my God!"

9. Hail Mary....Queen of the Family: Pray for us.

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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