Saturday, April 13, 2002

Mailbag and Interludes

Thank you to everyone who has written me. It is great to know that others think this Blog is a good idea and worth doing.

Before getting back to our reflections on CFL, I thought I would share some readers' thoughts.

In my last post, I commented that most of us struggle to figure out what it means to live out the Gospel in the ordinary places of life. I think Federalist Party rightly hits on one of the fundamentals: "... it starts by acting according to your "private ethics" in public acts." Thinking that one can have a separate private and public morality is part of the two temptations JPII worries the laity find hard to avoid. That's part of why I chose Integrity as the name of this Blog: it not only refers to honor and good character, but integration of all areas of one's life. I think JPII presents one of the other fundamentals in the next section of CFL, but that's another post.

A woman wrote me to tell how she's frustrated that the Church doesn't recognize more the importance of the family. It's a shame if her parish doesn't speak more highly of the family, because JPII clearly recognizes its critical importance in his Exhortation Familiaris Consortio:

"By virtue of the sacramentality of their marriage, spouses are bound to one another in the most profoundly indissoluble manner. Their belonging to each other is the real representation, by means of the sacramental sign, of the very relationship of Christ with the church. Spouses are therefore the permanent reminder to the church of what happened on the cross; they are for one another and for the children witnesses to the salvation in which the sacrament makes them sharers.
...
Christian marriage and the Christian family build up the church: for in the family the human person is not only brought into being and progressively introduced by means of education into the human community, but by means of the rebirth of baptism and education in the faith the child is also introduced into God's family, which is the church.
...
The sacrament of marriage gives to the educational role [JACK: passing on the faith to children] the dignity and vocation of being really and truly a "ministry" of the church at the service of the building up of her members. So great and splendid is the educational ministry of Christian parents that St. Thomas has no hesitation in comparing it with the ministry of priests: "Some only propagate and guard spiritual life by a spiritual ministry: This is the role of the sacrament of orders, others do this for both corporal and spiritual life, and this is brought about by the sacrament of marriage, by which a man and a woman join in order to beget offspring and bring them up to worship God."
Another woman wrote to tell me of the work of The Catherine of Sienna Institute, whose mission she describes as the implementation of CFL. They have some great stuff on their website that people might find helpful. (Check out this post on Veritas for more on the Institute.)

Next Post: Reflections on Paragraphs 4 through 7 of CFL

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