Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is a great time of the year to take a road trip. In addition to clever bumper stickers, I enjoy seeing the many variations of ‘family stickers’ on the back windows of vehicles. They range from stick people, to Star Wars characters, to dressed up animals. The stickers on the outside are as unique as the families inside!
Recently, I drove to Minneapolis to visit some college friends. One of my routines on long trips includes catching up on my backlog from the “CD of the Month Club” from Lighthouse Catholic Media. (Feel free to pick one up from our parish office library for your next trip!)
One of the CDs included highlights from the 2015 World Meeting of Families conference in Philadelphia. In a beautiful sign of ecumenism, Pastor Rick Warren was invited to give the final keynote address, the day before Pope Francis arrived.
The theme of the conference, “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasized the positive impact of the love and life of families on society. Pastor Warren is passionate about the importance of the family, and he put together a concise and thought-provoking summary of the problems that families face along with some solutions. It caught my attention and I listened to it several times. Here’s what he said:
“In today’s society, materialism is idolized, immorality is glamorized, truth is minimized, sin is normalized, divorce is rationalized, and abortion is legalized. In TV and movies, crime is legitimized, drug use is minimized, comedy is vulgarized, and sex is trivialized. In movies, the Bible is fictionalized, churches are satirized, God is marginalized, and Christians are demonized. The elderly are dehumanized, the sick are euthanized, the poor are victimized, the mentally ill are ostracized, immigrants are stigmatized, and children are tranquilized. In families around the world, our manners are uncivilized, speech is vulgarized, faith is secularized, and everything is commercialized. Christians are often disorganized and demoralized, and their faith is compartmentalized, and witness compromised.
So, what do we need? We need to revitalize our worship, minimize our differences, mobilize our members, and evangelize the lost, and we need to re-energize our families.”
Strong families form the foundation of strong communities. I invite you to take time this week to lift up your family and all families in prayer. How about if we all form a new habit?… Every time we see one of those clever ‘sticker families’ on the vehicle in front of us, take a moment to say a prayer for the people inside. 🙂
May God bless you and your family.