What is Family Spirituality?

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Down-home Spirituality for Ordinary Families

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Family spirituality is the spiritual dimension of everything that the family does to be a family. Its most important ingredient is the love flowing between family members. Where genuine love is, we always find God because God is love.

Family spirituality is best thought of as family life itself. It encompasses everything alive in the family. It thrives in the caring relationships between family members. God is particularly attuned to family living because, in a sense, God lives in a family, the Holy Trinity.

A singular loving gesture of God ignited the very existence of the Universe. From Godís deep love streams all created reality, past, present and future. The artistic masterpiece of Godís creation is, of course, the human person. God did not intend that the human person live alone, but as one immersed in the nourishing moments of communal experience. Life itself begins in a sexual expression of love and develops out of the continuing love within the family as well as the love pulsing through the wider community. 

Into each heart God places a profound hunger for the experience of being loved and loving others. This hunger can only be satisfied by Godís total and all-encompassing love, but snippets of Godís love are mirrored or experienced within the daily moments of human respect, care, consideration and concern.

The family can awaken itself to Godís loving presence through prayer, both individual and communal, through shared activities, both religious and human, and through the countless efforts given to the care and support of each other. The family is like a cell in a larger living body. In the Church the family is rightly described as a domestic church, a church of the home, a household of faith.

No family acts are too small, no words are too brief, for them all to be sacred or holy. From the stirring of the first family member with the sun rising to light a new day until the last light or candle is extinguished, the spiritual life of the family unfolds.

The Kingdom of God itself comes to be in families whenever two or three loving people connect and live together in a family. While on the surface most of what happens in the family may appear utterly worldly and temporal, know that every simple gesture of love in the family receives both an amen and an alleluia in heaven. For those near God know all too well that what alone lasts is love. Only love conquers death, only love can give birth to and energize all that is most sacred in creation, life itself. We are reminded that Jesus came that we may have life. He was born into a family and his final gesture on the cross was to ensure that his mother was cared for.  

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