Many years ago, Father John Hardon, S.J. wrote an article on the “Survival of the Catholic Family”. He warned that the Catholic family in super developed countries, like the USA, is on trial for its existence. He foresaw the even more deadly struggles we are facing today between Christ, the Light of the world, and Satan, the prince of darkness, and the main focus of this struggle is the family. Father Harden explains it this way:
- Where the Catholic Christian family is strong, the Catholic Church is strong.
- Where the family is weak, the Church is weak.
- Where the family is struggling for survival, the church is struggling for Survival.
- Where the Catholic family is dying, the Catholic Church in those cultures and countries is dying and, consequently, removed from that nation.
Fr. Hardon believes that the survival of the family depends on the Catholic response. That is, it depends on strong, heroic Catholic families living their faith in an unbelieving world. Many of you are probably asking how can we do this?
Fr. Hardon identifies 3 ways parents can nurture their children in things of the spirit: by what they are; what they do; and what they say. They need to provide strong spiritual and moral examples to their children as well as seeing that they receive a good Catholic education.
Heroic Catholic families can do these things in their everyday lives:
- Pray for one another
- Love and accept one another
- Tell the truth to one another
- Be kind to one another
- Bring joy to one another
- Serve one another
- Be patient with one another
- Forgive one another
- Honor each other.
Fr. Hardon warned that only heroic Catholic families will survive. He meant, only families that make deep and continuous sacrifices for God will survive. Most important keep praying constantly for one another now and forever.