Dear Friends in Christ,
As I have noted before, in the Catholic Church, there is a devotion for each day of the week and for each month of the year. The month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family: Our Lord Jesus Christ, our holy Mother Mary and Saint Joseph. Saint John Paul II said in his Angelus message on the Feast of the Holy Family, 30 December 2001, “For every believer, and especially for Christian families, the humble dwelling place in Nazareth is an authentic school of the Gospel. Here we admire, put into practice, the divine plan to make the family an intimate community of life and love; here we learn that every Christian family is called to be a small ‘domestic church’ that must shine with the Gospel virtues. Recollection and prayer, mutual understanding and respect, personal discipline and community asceticism and a spirit of sacrifice, work and solidarity are typical features that make the family of Nazareth a model for every home.”
When I was growing up, I would wonder why my family was not like the Leave It to Beaver Show. My father had long hair, piercings and tattoos working undercover for the police force. I know that I never heard, “Honey, I’m home!” come out of him. But I learned so much from our family. The challenges of family life prepare us for a harsh world and so we must not despair if all is not perfect. Note the words the pope uses, “humble,” “intimate,” “life and love,” and “domestic church.” We also see “understanding and respect, personal discipline and …sacrifice.” I learned these in a unique setting which prepared me to love Jesus and to serve Him as His priest. I learned to win and lose from my family life, but especially, to find the path where the Lord leads. We cannot trade our family in for another, although we may be closer to some people whom we consider family. The question is whether we bring out the best in others and is the best brought out in us so that we more and more be configured to Christ which began at our baptism. We will only truly be able to say, “I’m home, when we, through the merits of Jesus Christ, walk into Heaven! The following is a Family Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Oh most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we come to You as a family and consecrate ourselves to Your Sacred Heart. Protect us through Your Most Precious Blood and keep us pure and holy.
Oh Dear Jesus, we are so far away from Your most pure and Sacred Heart. As a family we need Your help. Heal all the quarrels that exist in our family due to our unforgiveness and lack of love for You. Heal our unbelieving and unconverted hearts and lead us to Your Sacred Heart with love. Unite us as a family and remove all stain of sinfulness from our souls. Help us to be a prayerful and loving family, so that through our example we may lead other souls to Your Most Sacred Heart. We give You our hearts Dearest Jesus, and consecrate our family through the fourth generation. Through the prayers of our Dearest Mother Mary, may we live this consecration every day of our lives.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have pity on us.
God bless you,