February 7, 2001
volume 12, no. 38

Column on the Family as the Focus of Life

What Faith in the Family is all about

    This is our first column for The DAILY CATHOLIC. We have so much to share and not really sure where to begin. This column is not going to be esoteric, it is not going to win a Pulitzer; we may even mispell a word or two, but that's okay because we want to share the humanness of family - follies and foibles, joys and jigs, tears and tantrums, laughter, life and love. Like our children, we'll give pats on the back and also sometimes a good swift pat just a little lower. It's called love - tough love because, as we all know, love is never easy. Oh, it's the greatest gift God gave to families, but it takes all rowing in the same direction. That is what we will strive to do. At times we might be off the cuff and keep it light, at other times very serious. At all times we ask that what we write is right before God and His Church and call on the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and words.

    Maybe it's best just to purge our hearts of stains that, like all, prevent us from doing more for the Sanctity of Life and Family values. Often times in prayer and the other quiet times it strikes us that, no matter how much we're trying to do, maybe we're not doing enough. If we're trying to do it by ourself, then it surely is not enough. However, as Catholics, we are graced with knowing that all God asks us is to give it our best and He will do the rest. That's comforting, believe us, in times when only that kind of trust in Him keeps our faith in Him truer, and helps us focus on the faith in the family.

    We've tossed ideas around with the editor and all agreed on "Faith in the Family" as the best title for this column. You see, it encompasses faith in the family unit, faith in family values, faith in fostering family love within and outside of the family in our own home with our own flesh and blood, and in our extended family in our parish, reaching out to the community and beyond. It is also faith as in our Catholic Faith that is such a treasure. It is the tenets of our Faith, the doctrines and traditions, the Word, the Catechism and devotions passed on by our grandparents and parents that not only get us through each day, but reinforces our own resolve to continue that nobleness, that special responsibility and charge we have been given as parents.

    This past Sunday the Holy Father celebrated Pro-Life Day in Rome and, after his regular Sunday Angelus he said something that touched our hearts. In upholding the precious Sanctity of Life, he told those gathered in St. Peter's Square that, "Each Child Is a Word." How beautiful. He went on to exhort all "to remember that every child is a word pronounced to the parents who are called to welcome it." That has to bring chills and, maybe even a few tears to every mother and father who knows the pains and ecstasy of childbearing and rearing.

    And that is what we will endeavor to share. As we said earlier, this column will be a potpourri of flowers, if you will; some roses, others daisies, others daffodils or tulips, or lillies of the valleys, or carnations, or violets, maybe even a dandelion or two might sneak in. You just never know. But we will take this floral assortment of little acts of faith, happenings in our life and others, experiences with kids and other parents, issues in the Church and society, and offer them as a bouquet of faith and love, first to God and then to you.

    That is the whole purpose of our joining The DAILY CATHOLIC crew of writers. We want to row in the same direction and hope you'll be open to rowing with us or at least listen to what we say and pray on it. If we can move a few to become more involved in family, have more faith in what family is all about, to take an active role in helping to promote Pro Life in whatever way God is calling you to protect His little ones in the womb, His children in their early years, His teenagers who face so many perils, His young adults as they form life patterns, His adults at their prime of life, and His elderly children who are so often forgotten and looked upon as a nuisance to society. All God's children have a very important role in preserving life from conception to the grave, from fertilization to the funeral home.

    In all stages we must all strive to uphold the Sancity of Life. It is not just the responsibility of a few. It is everyone's responsibility as Christ has commanded us. If each one of us uses our God-given gifts to foster family values and the cause of Pro Life, we might all be surprised how fast it could happen. But it won't get done if you just sit there at the computer reading all day. So as you read this, go ahead and finish the rest of today's issue, print this article out if you can to share it with others, and then, get away from the computer for a few minutes, try to isolate yourself from phones and noise if that is possible. We know, with the little ones around and our busy office here at Pro Life Communications in the St. Louis area that it isn't easy for us, so it probably isn't as easy for you either, but take a moment or two just to ask God what your role might be in His Pro Life Army of Love. You might be surprised at His answer. It may only be a whisper, but from small acorns great oaks grow. Is it in you? We think so. And we're not talking about Gatorade, but guts and grace to tackle a cause that is near and dear to our hearts and should be to every Catholic and Christian, to every family. When we all work together to eradicate the culture of death, then we'll see faith in the family in its fullness. Until next time, God bless you, brothers and sisters.

Joe and Jane Dalton

February 7, 2001
volume 12, no. 38
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