FEBRUARY – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY FAMILY
The spirit of the Holy Family and its characteristic virtues are pictured for us in St Paul’s words to the Colossians (3:12-17), “Brethren, put on, therefore, as the elect of God [through holy baptism], holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; bearing with one another and forgiving one another if any have a complaint against another; even ‘as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also, you are called in one body and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God”.
An inspiring model, a precious instruction! The sacred liturgy, however, is not satisfied with this. She opens to us the sources of strength which are needed for a good, Christian family life. She opens these to us through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Communion, and prayer.
A devoted family spirit and these family virtues are a precious possession both for the human family and for the supernatural family. Among these virtues we may call attention especially to:
- the will and effort to be of one heart and one soul in chaste love;
- to the disposition of devotion to one another, bearing each other’s faults and forgiving each other’s mistakes;3.
- to the disposition to serve one another and to subject one’s own interests to the common good of the family; 4.
- to the disposition to do whatever is necessary for mutual understanding and mutual appreciation.
To live a good, Christian family life requires sacrifice, the renunciation of one’s own wishes and a reasonable mortification of self. If it is to be perfect, it requires complete victory over self-love. It requires a high degree of virtue, deep piety and living faith, much prayer, and a close union with God.
In our day the very foundations of family life have been shaken by the failure of so many marriages. For this reason the devotion to the Holy Family of Nazareth takes on a new meaning and a new importance. The modern family must again be rejuvenated and filled with the spirit of the Holy Family of Nazareth. It must recapture the spirit of faith, the spirit of subjection to the will of God. It is for this intention that we should offer our prayers and sacrifices during the month. — The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, OSB.
Prayer for the Protection of the Holy Family
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus,
ever to follow the example
of Your Holy Family,
that in the hour of our death
Your glorious Virgin Mother
together with blessed Joseph
may come to meet us
and we may be worthily,
received by You
into everlasting dwellings,
who lives and reigns,
world without end.