Among Us—part two

by Daniel Murphy on May 7, 2007

Share Button

Love in the heart of the world

Living among others in the world-being in the world and not of it-will come in many “styles”:  single, married, ordained priest, aligned with associations or independent. The common denominator is being a sign, a witness to a central reality: love in the heart of the world, in love with God and with those God has created.

The family, which is the foundational and enduring community of love and life, may prove to offer a mustard tree of faith and love for various modes of living in the world, of being love in the heart of the world for others. This little community  is ordinary, the way for most people in every age.  As both a natural good and a  sacrament of love and life in the new dispensation, the family offers a home for  enduring relationships, reconciliation, and initiatives that can positively affect society and the Church and, therefore, the true good of human persons.

Vocation (ad intra) and mission (ad extra)

The family discovers its inner truth (its vocation ad intra) through faithful relationships that endure all the vicissitudes of human life on pilgrimage. Generosity, courtesy, kindness, concern for the member(s) least able to care for themselves:  these are the visible traits of the Christian family and its life “ad intra.”

The family gives witness to what it has experienced “ad intra” through an awareness that others, too, are made in God’s image and likeness; these others are made for love and not use; the family can accompany others on their path towards truth and love, not judging , but listening, walking alongside, and encouraging them in their journey.  This is the family’s mission ad extra.

A sign, metaphor, means for the Church

The Christian family (a domestic church) might be a sign, metaphor, and means for realizing the truth of love and life among Christ’s faithful-an image for the Church herself.

It would be just like God to choose something little and apparently insignificant (the family) to achieve His “macro” purpose:  a unified family of believers (the Church), a home for those striving to live among and for the people of our time.  Marked by loving relationships, the Church could come to resemble the family as a community of love and life.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: