Sunday, July 27, 2014

Family Life and Society

In the diocesan bulletin, a religious priest writes about a young woman  who came to see him for a consultation. She was very active in the youth work of the parish. The priest whenever invited to give a talk to the  young people at a Mass would always encourage,  give them hope. After one of his talks, a girl had the courage to come to see him after Mass.

Briefly, what she said was that from a very early age, she always trusted people. She trusted her parents, her relations and those around her. She believed everybody was like her parents from an early age.

However, from the time in school, she'd  received many scars and bitter disappointments  from her fellow students and her teachers: not only, in middle and high school but also in college and after in the workplace. This continued even in her voluntary work within the parish setting. She hated many and  felt guilty. Whenever she went to confession, she was always confessing the same sins.

Recently, she said this all came to an end. Now when she trusts others, and they disappoint her and  say things that hurt she no longer harbors any ill feelings towards them. She is very much at peace, and light hearted.  She found this to be very strange and came to the priest to talk about her new feelings.

The priest told her that there are many young people who have grown up with trust and  confidence because of their parents' personalities and education received in the home, but not all have been so fortunate. That is a reason we have to treat others with love and understanding.

There is a tendency, he says, to forget the environment that many have to contend with growing up. Many grew up in dysfunctional families; their experience in the homes appears in the society in which they enter: distrust, immorality, competition, envy, jealously, egotism, materialism.

If religions and those with folk beliefs implemented the family values and took them seriously we would have understanding, love, sharing, respect for creation, other humans, animals and the environment.We would be moved by  loving compassion, the world would be different. The problems we have in the families will appear in our society, and influence society negatively.

Pope Francis had this to say about family life: "It is necessary to reaffirm the conviction that every family is the principal setting for the growth of each individual, since it is through the family that human beings become open to life and the natural need for relationships with others. Over and over again we see that family bonds are essential for the stability of relationships in society, for the work of education and for integral human development, for they are inspired by love, responsible inter-generational solidarity and mutual trust. These are factors, which can make even the most adverse situations more bearable, and bring a spirit of true fraternity to our world, enabling it to feel as a single family, where the greatest attention is paid to those most in need" (6/20/13).

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