Vincentian Families need to take note of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia from a particular point of view.
One of the founding members of the works of the Center for FaithJustice and it’s “worX” programs, Mike Laskey continues to reflect his Holy Cross and Vincentian roots as he reflects on Pope Francis’ most recent document.
In the liturgy, as in life, the family – and Vincentian families in particular – need to be shape and be shaped by their ecclesial experiences.
The Mass, said the scholar Aidan Kavanagh, is doing the world the way it’s meant to be done. At the end of each liturgical celebration, we are sent forth to make the world more closely resemble the unity that we practice in the sanctuary, where all welcomed to the table and can receive what they need.
How often do we make those connections? Do we consciously help our families to live the Vincentian life, shaped by our own Eucharistic celebrations? Do we let our home life be the place where we first learn about inclusion vs. marginalization, where we learn that “the goods of the earth belong to all?” Are our homes schools of solidarity and mercy?
Formed by this Eucharistic love, our families can become what Pope Francis calls in the document “vital cell[s] for transforming the world.” Our families are meant to be schools of mercy, where compassion and care for the poor are learned and practiced. I think of my friend Sean, who has devoted his life to Catholic social justice ministry. When he was growing up, his family would help serve a meal at a soup kitchen every single Christmas. Sean doesn’t remember this tradition seeming strange or unusual. “It was just something we did,” he says. He learned mercy in his family and it had a profound impact on the person he has become.
Read all of Mike’s reflection here. Michael Jordan Laskey works in the office for Life & Justice Ministries in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey (USA)