Monday, February 7, 2011

"A Family Manifesto: How to Read Familiaris Consortio"

Inside Catholic just republished an article by Dr. Joseph Atkinson (one of my favorite professors at the John Paul II Institute) about John Paul II's wonderful apostolic letter, "Familiaris Consortio."

I cannot wait to read the whole article, but for now, here is an excerpt:

Every good battle plan has a strategy. Familiaris Consortio is no different, but unlike the elaborate designs drawn by generals past, its power lies in its fundamental simplicity. The apostolic exhortation shows that the answer to the modern crisis lies in recovering the theology of creation as a vital part of any anthropological discourse. The fundamental reorientation toward the Creator requires our acceptance of creaturely status. Only in this way can the vertical dimension to human existence be rediscovered.

Of course, in a society that worships "self," it's extremely difficult to recall people to this saner view of reality -- the view that we're not the creators of our own nature. Nevertheless, Familiaris Consortio unabashedly proclaims that only in his relationship to God can man (and hence marriage and family) ever come into fullness of being: "Willed by God in the very act of creation, marriage and the family are interiorly ordained to fulfillment in Christ, and have need of His graces in order to be healed from the wounds of sin and restored to their 'beginning,' that is, to full understanding and the full realization of God's plan."

Human nature, marriage, and family are not social constructs subject to manipulation for the advancement of specific agendas. Rather, they’re formed and informed by God's loving plan and interiorly oriented toward Christ. We're called to be faithful to this will -- not to any political expediency.

Read the whole article here.

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