“But the most beautiful thing God made…was the family. He created man and woman, and he gave them everything. He entrusted the world to them: 'Grow, multiply, cultivate the earth, make it bear fruit, let it grow.' All the love he put into that marvelous creation, he entrusted to a family.” – Pope Francis As complicated as family can be, there is still sacredness woven into its fabric. It is the space we learn to love and be loved, as expansive—or constricted—that might look in each family. It affects all our expectations about relationships moving forward, and sometimes we need deep healing and new experiences to be able to truly love in the expansive way we long for. But when it works how it was made to, it can be such a beautiful thing. Pope Francis describes the family as “the hospital closest to us”, “the first school for children”, “the unwavering reference point for the young”, and “the first school of mercy, because it is there that we have been loved and learned to love, have been forgiven and learned to forgive.” There is deep beauty in the family, and also often just-as-deep pain. Our lives are shaped (whether we like it or not!) by the particular personalities and dynamics of our home life. At its best, it can be a space where God’s desire for every human to know their belovedness gets worked out. A space to know and be known, in all our human complexity. At its worst, those in the family can begin to believe just the opposite—identities damaged instead of fostered, souls and bodies crushed instead of flourishing. Family is sacred. Family is broken. We don’t get to choose our family-of-origin, but often later expressions of family come together precisely to heal the wounds of the former and/or to pass on the love received there. What is it like to think of the family as a sacred space entrusted to us? As the way God entrusts the world to us? How has that been your experience, or how have you had experience that seems to contradict this picture?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2021-11-24 15:18:16 UTC