Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Feast of the Holy Family

Michelangelo, The Holy Family

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family!

Now this is a feast that makes me happy (ok, hence the discombobulated mood today).
As you might gather, family is a big deal to me. Literally and figuratively!
And to have a day that puts special emphasis on the beauty and importance of family is just a gift. And what better role models to have than the Holy Family, of course! And all too often St. Joseph, the head of the Holy Family is kind of lost in the Christmas shuffle. Go read Elizabeth Foss for a good article on St. Joseph.

"For the past few weeks, we have been so intensely focused on the coming of Jesus Christ, that today the Church invites us to take a step back and look at a larger picture: The Holy Family. The Son of God, in His Divinity, could have come to us full grown and alone. Or he could have come as a child under the protection of some royal court. Instead, he chose to come to us in the midst of the most fundamental dynamic in human life: the family. The first thing Jesus sanctified by his presence was a family home"
from Phat Catholic, go read

Anyhow, this topic is an important one for me. I look to the Holy Family for inspiration, prayers, and as a role model (that I will never achieve, of course). But really, we are called to be the domestic church, to model that giving service, that love in our own families and homes. And God was so good to provide us with a family that we can look to. They had to go through all sorts of difficulties, stress, fears as well as happiness, companionship, joy and everyday life. Maybe, just maybe, Mary questioned Joseph's ideas once or twice ("really, get up, leave, go to Egypt?, really, now??? Ack, ok!") and surely they worried about work and we know they did chores and got tired and lived quiet mundane regular life for many (well, 30) years.

And that gives me comfort. When I am in the midst of another messy kitchen or loads of laundry, with dinner needing to me cooked and Coffeedoc calling, well, it is nice to know that it is ok, this is how it's supposed to be. It gets messy and tired and worried and quiet and regular too. And I can know that, stone cold, because the Holy Family did it. Period.

There is holiness in the everyday quiet life of the family, big or small. There can certainly be growth in holiness as well (and a big upcurve ahead there, in this house) but this is some of the most fertile ground for it. The family. The linchpin. The foundation. So today, we celebrate, with great thanksgiving the feast of the Holy Family.

Here too are a few more links: to good reads, to good holy families:
The Deacons Bench has a good homily on the Holy Family, worth a look.
Juli at Happy Catholic, always great.
Jennifer, at Conversion Diary, she heads up a holy family!
As does Michele at Family-Centered Life, and Margaret at Minnesota Mom, and Danielle Bean and so many others, but if I start to list them all then I'll get someone mad at me or their feelings hurt. So to make it simpler, go to the sidebar and check out most of the adoptive blogs (because right there, ya got the whole St. Joseph connection in particular) and the Catholic moms links too. That's the other cool thing about this feast: if you look, you'll see examples all around you! How glorious, how cool is that! Thanks be to God!

Holy Family, pray for us!

1 comment:

Nanna Sally said...

I so agree, about God loving families and putting his own Son in an earthly family for a purpose. Joseph must have been an amazing man... I especially like your final Holy Family picture - searching for such an image brought me here.
Sally