MONTHLY THEMES are based on current family realities and address various areas of family life, e.g. love and marriage, parenting, grandparents, youth, heritage, loss. A broad ecological awareness of God, creation, human, animal and plant families is built in. Themes are linked with the liturgical calendar and South African national and popular commemorations.
DAILY THOUGHTS, using a SEE-JUDGE-ACT approach for family faith reflection and sharing, consist of:
1. A look at life.
2. An extract from the scripture of the day.
3. Extracts from Church teaching using writings of Pope Francis.
4. Invitation to action and prayer.
Two areas of concern Pope Francis has addressed at this time, are marriage and family, as well as ecology and climate change. The Church offers programmes related to his letters Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love and Laudato Si – on Care of our Common Home. The AMORIS LAETITIA year culminates in the WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES in June 2022. The LAUDATO SI ACTION PLATFORM is an extensive formation programme for all sectors of the Church community, with families the first sector for implementation. The latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti and other writings are also included in our DAILY THOUGHTS.
Our 2022 publications come after another very difficult year and we continue to deal with challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, mass vaccination calls, poverty and financial insecurity. Climate change and its effects contribute too to high stress levels and challenges to our faith.
Many societal changes have resulted in growing diversity of family forms; parenting, male and female and marital relationships. Pope Francis recognises and addresses all people and families everywhere, Christian and of other religions. He places great emphasis on ecology, a family of families that includes flora and fauna. As is now well known, human behavior has harmed creation, resulting in global warming, general climate change and disastrous consequences; floods, drought, extreme heat and rising sea water levels.
Now it is our responsibility as the human family, beginning in the home, to deal with current realities, make amends and, collaborate with other initiatives, promote family spirituality and incorporate care for all of creation as promoted already 800 years ago by one of Pope Francis’ great models, St Francis of Assisi. Through promotion of Amoris Laetitia and a collaborative involvement with the Laudato Si Action Platform these are included in MARFAM’S current goals and objectives.
A PRAYER FOR OUR EARTH from Laudato Si.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Blessed Trinity, community of infinite love. You are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love that we may protect all life and beauty. Fill us with humility, peace and joy that we may live as brothers and sisters harming no one. Encourage us in our struggle for justice, love and peace. Praise be to you! Amen
JANUARY : FAMILY BEGINNINGS
“In the beginning……” are the first words of our Bible. In the beginning before the world, the sun, moon, stars, animals, plants and humankind were created there was only God, as Trinity, a community of love. But God had a passion to create, to share, to love and so every created thing came into being.The desire for creation, co-creation and re-creation was implanted into every creature and so our world has evolved. Humankind was given the task of being stewards of creation. That includes responsibility for our own families and all the families of creation. But has humankind gone too far, and overridden the role of creator out of love and begun to create for our own selfish ends? How can we discern our impact on creation in the coronavirus and climate change and begin once more in every area of our lives?
The creation accounts in the book of Genesis contain in their own symbols and narrative language profound teachings about human existence and its historical reality, They suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth. These three vital relationships have been broken both outwardly and within us. This rupture is sin. LS 66 As never before in history common destiny begs us to seek a new beginning. Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace and the joyful celebration of life. LS207 Earth Charter