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The Family and Human Ecology

The faithful and cooperators of the Prelature of Opus Dei are taking part this year in a Marian Year for the Family. As Bishop Javier Echevarría reminded us on the feast of the Holy Family, “we need to pray each day for all the world’s families, asking that every country may fully accept in its laws the natural law that comes from God.” The Marian Year is a good occasion “to place in our Lady’s hands all the needs of the Church and mankind, and to faithfully second the intentions of the Pope,” the Prelate added.

The Christian family has an irreplaceable mission. Children raised in its warmth “will become true Christians, men and women of integrity, capable of facing all life’s situations with an open spirit, of serving their fellow men and helping to solve the problems of mankind, of carrying the testimony of Christ to the society of which they will be a part” (St. Josemaría, Christ Is Passing By, no. 28).

In this regard, Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si’, points to some of the many services that the family provides for the care of our “common home” within an “integral ecology,” beginning with the spread “of a culture of life in the face of a culture of death.” It is in homes where “we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures.”

The home is also, the Pope reminds us, the place where “we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity.” The many attacks the institution of the family is undergoing contrast with the culture of encounter that it fosters in society: “we learn to ask without demanding, to say ‘thank you’ as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressiveness and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm.” These gestures of sincere courtesy help “to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings” (Laudato Si’, no. 213).

Romana, No. 60, January-June 2015, pag. 8.