From The Catholic Family Handbook by Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik

The life of the Holy Family at Nazareth was a hidden life of prayer and work. Their whole day’s work was done for God alone, because prayer, simple and sublime, filled it completely.

A charming simplicity dominated each of their domestic duties. Their disposition was always serene, because the thought of God absorbed them.

Their hearts were in their home, and hence they could not be carried away on the stream of the world. They lived in retirement and poverty, being satisfied with only the necessities of life.

Sanctity was so carefully concealed beneath the quiet simplicity of their daily life that people did not realize the Son of God and His Virgin Mother dwelt among them.

How reverently did Mary and Joseph admire the beautiful example of Jesus! What food for thought was His obedience! His practice of this difficult virtue gave to the hidden life of Nazareth its sweetness, peace, and majesty.

Although He was the Son of God, He was subject to His creatures – for thirty years. The example of His loving obedience should be an inspiration to children. They can expect the blessing of He promised in the Fourth Commandment’ – if they respect and honor their parents.

We cannot measure the growth of Mary and Joseph in holiness. Grace poured constantly from Christ – its source – into their souls. While their hands were busy, Jesus absorbed their thoughts and affections and thrilled their hearts with the purest love for Him.

Divine love united them all in a holy, happy family.christchild12a

Our Lady is an attractive example for every wife and mother. Not only was she perfectly devoted to Joseph, her husband, but she was always an inspiration to him, especially in her love for her Son. It thrilled her with the purest joy to have so perfect a Model ever before her; to talk freely and often with Him; and to be so close an observer of His conduct.

She filled her mind unceasingly with thoughts of His virtues. She pondered all His words and recorded them in her heart, as the Evangelist remarks. She was absorbed in acquiring His spirit. She spent herself and was spent in learning the practical knowledge of Jesus Christ, and in so doing, she became the holiest creature who ever walked this earth.

Try to imitate this perfect dedication to God, and, like Mary, you will be most pleasing to Him and a source of inspiration and help to your family. Endeavor to burn with the same desire to imitate your Savior.

The practical imitation of Christ is your highest duty. Mary can best teach you to imitate Him, because she is the Mirror of justice, who reflects the spirit of Jesus most powerfully and most faithfully. Thus you will gain the knowledge that will aid you in bringing your family to eternal life.

As Mary, beautiful and perfect, is the sublime model for every Catholic wife, so Joseph, “the just man,”‘ gentle, kind, and chaste, is a model for every Catholic husband.

When God blesses your home with human life, the fruit of love, your family becomes like the Holy Family. In the family life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are exemplified the proper relations that should exist between husband and wife, parents and children.

By practicing the domestic virtues of charity, obedience, and mutual help, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sanctified family life.

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