08 January 2012

Feast of the Holy Family

Weather - The weather today foretells the weather of August

In the traditional calendar, today - the first Sunday after Epiphany - is dedicated to the Holy Family.  In the new calendar, this is celebrated on the Sunday in the Octave of Christmas, unless that Sunday falls on 1 January (Mary, Mother of God) as it did this year, in which case the feast is moved to 30 December.  I, for one, have no problem honoring Jesus, Mary, and Joseph more than once in a year.  The family is under fire from all sides - how many good portrayals of families can you find in the media? - and needs all the help it can get.  Start by consecrating your family to the Holy Family, and make it a practice to bless your children daily.

And this is a plea from one who is trying to teach your children their faith - and, trust me, I love our future saints; they are so enthusiastic - although our group is long on energy and short on attention span.  But, we the teachers see them only one hour in a week.  You are their first line of defense against Satan - we rely on you to take them to Mass, to reinforce the teachings of the Church, and to make sure they understand and can apply their lessons to their daily lives.  And we definitely rely on you to bring them back after their First Communion.  It is your life as a Christian parent that they see and model themselves upon.

Here are two miniatures from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c1440).  They accompanied the prayers said in honor of the Virgin at Sext (noon) and None (3 pm) on Saturdays.  I love how they are depicted as a contemporary (to the illustrator) middle-class family. (How often have you seen Our Lord in a baby-walker?)

Holy Family at Work

Holy Family at Supper