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Catecheses

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WHAT ARE CATECHESIS?

The catecheses have been designed to accompany this event in June 2022, a spiritual journey to follow for the 10th World Meeting of Families.

Father Rupnik presents the official image of WMOF22

Meditation by Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, artist and theologian, based on the image he created for the World Meeting of Families

According to nature the family in itself is part of existence. We know that even in the animal world there are families. Even birds and fish have families. So the family expresses the way living beings exist; it is something that belongs to the nature of creation.

This mystery is great

Father Marko Ivan Rupnik

The term vocation comes from the Latin verb vocare whose meaning is to call. Being called by someone conveys a clear message. Someone, who knows we exist, is taking an interest in our lives. We can accept or even reject this call to establish a relationship. Matrimony, for example, is a response to a calling.

Wedding at Cana in Galilee

The background of the image is the episode of the Wedding at Cana in Galilee. The servant pouring the wine has the face with the features of St. Paul, according to the ancient Christian iconography. The image thus reveals how the sacramental love between man and woman is a reflection of the indissoluble love and unity between Christ and the Church. In Christian marriages the love of the spouses is transformed, because it is made to share in the love that Christ has for the Church. In this sense, marriage has an ecclesial dimension and is inseparable from the Church.

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Vocation and family

The term vocation comes from the Latin verb vocare whose meaning is to call. Being called by someone conveys a clear message. Someone, who knows we exist, is taking an interest in our lives. We can accept or even reject this call to establish a relationship. Matrimony, for example, is a response to a calling

Vocation and family

How can we discover our own vocation in this world? It can be discovered in many ways. Marriage, consecrated life, priesthood: every true vocation begins with an encounter with Jesus who gives us joy and hope anew; and he leads us, even through trials and difficulties, to an ever fuller encounter; that encounter, the encounter with him, grows greater, and to the fullness of joy.

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CALLED TO HOLINESS

What is our family called to? St Paul, called by the Lord to a radical turning point in his life, might answer: "Blessed be God, who chose us before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in his sight in love".

Francis and holiness

The Church needs saints, not superheroes. Since the first steps after his election to the Chair of Peter, Francis has dwelt on holiness in the Church and, on several occasions, has not only outlined what distinguishes being a saint, but has also indicated what a saint is not. On 2 October 2013, in one of the general audiences of his first year of Pontificate, he stressed that the Church "offers everyone the possibility of travelling the path of holiness, which is the path of the Christian" towards the encounter with Jesus. The Church, he observed, "does not reject sinners", she welcomes them and invites them to let themselves be "infected by God's holiness". At the end of that catechesis, the Pope quoted the French writer Léon Bloy who said that "there is only one sadness in life, that of not being holy".

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NAZARETH: MAKING LOVE NORMAL

By looking at the family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, every family can rediscover its own calling, can begin to understand itself a little better, find its way along life's path and feel attracted by the joy of the Gospel.

The family and the Christian community

The link between the family and the Christian community is a 'natural' one, so to speak, because the Church is a spiritual family and the family is a small Church. The Christian community is the home of those who believe in Jesus as the source of brotherhood among all men. The Church walks in the midst of peoples, in the history of men and women, of fathers and mothers, of sons and daughters: this is the history that counts for the Lord. In order for this reality of the assembly of Jesus to be alive today, it is essential to revive the covenant between the family and the Christian community. We could say that the family and the parish are the two places where that communion of love, which finds its ultimate source in God himself, is realised. A Church truly according to the Gospel cannot but take the form of a welcoming home, with its doors open at all times.

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WE ARE ALL CHILDREN, WE ARE ALL BROTHERS

In a family there are different roles, but one identity unites us all: we are all children! No one chooses to be born. Each of us owes his existence and his life to a mother and a father. We cannot give life to ourselves, we can only receive and preserve it.

Sons, brothers, children

In our catechesis on the family, it is important to consider all the figures in the family, including children, siblings and children. "Brother" and "sister" are words that Christianity loves very much. And, because of the family experience, they are words that all cultures and all ages understand. Turning to children, the prophet Isaiah writes: "Your children have gathered, they come to you. Your sons come from afar, your daughters are borne. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and expand'. A final thought on the promises we make to children. We all say: children are a promise of life but are we as serious about their future, the future of children and the future of young people?

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FATHERS AND MOTHERS

The path to holiness taken by a father or mother passes through the growth of their love for each other and the love they give to their children. There is a beautiful and powerful call to become fathers and mothers. That call is to share with God the power of a love that generates life, in flesh and in spirit. It is a call that will last throughout life and in all circumstances.

The Mother Church

The Church is a mother. Our Holy Mother Church. Every human being owes his or her life to a mother, and almost always owes her much of his or her subsequent existence, human and spiritual formation. It happens that even in the Christian community, the mother is not always taken into account, that she is little listened to. Yet at the centre of the Church's life is the Mother of Jesus. Perhaps mothers, ready to make so many sacrifices for their children, and not only for them, should be listened to more. Their daily struggle should be better understood, what they aspire to in order to express the best and authentic fruits of their emancipation.

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GRANDPARENTS AND THE ELDERLY

Grandparents and the elderly are also part of our families. Today, a prevailing culture of rejection tends to consider the elderly unimportant and even insignificant for society. Old age, on the other hand, is a further time to respond to God's call. It is certainly a new, different and in some respects even more adult and mature response.

Grandparents for the family

As long as we are young, we are inclined to ignore old age, as if it were a disease to be kept away; when we become old, especially if we are poor, if we are sick alone, we experience the shortcomings of a society programmed on efficiency, which consequently ignores the elderly. And the elderly are an asset, they cannot be ignored. It is true that society tends to discard them, but certainly not the Lord. The Lord never discards. He calls us to follow him in every age of life, and old age also contains a grace and a mission, a true vocation of the Lord. Old age is a vocation.

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"EXCUSE ME, THANK YOU, SORRY"

"These words pave the way for living well in the family, for living in peace. They are simple words, but not so simple to put into practice! They contain a great strength: the strength to guard the home, even through a thousand difficulties and trials; instead, their absence, little by little opens cracks that can even make it collapse." Pope Francis

Family and illness

Illness is an experience of our fragility, which we experience mostly in the family, from childhood onwards, and then especially in old age. It is often more difficult for a father and mother to bear the illness of a son or daughter than their own. The family, we can say, has always been the closest "hospital". In the Gospels, many pages recount Jesus' encounters with the sick and his commitment to healing them: Jesus never shied away from caring for them, and so should we. The Church invites us to pray continually for our sick loved ones, both personally and in community.

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Catecheses

Vocation and family

Catecheses

CALLED TO HOLINESS

Catecheses

NAZARETH: MAKING LOVE NORMAL

Catecheses

WE ARE ALL CHILDREN, WE ARE ALL BROTHERS

Catecheses

FATHERS AND MOTHERS

Catecheses

GRANDPARENTS AND THE ELDERLY

Catecheses

"EXCUSE ME, THANK YOU, SORRY"