Family Matters

A Rosary Meditation: The Third Joyful Mystery, The Nativity.

“She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged.” – Luke 2:7.

You know, Jesus gave us all Mary as our mother as he was dieing on the cross. Every Christian, whether they know it or not, is a child of Mary’s. Every child of God’s is one of Mary’s children too.

If we’re children of Mary’s, and we are, we share a family tree and a family history. The tree includes every other Christian living now or who has ever lived. Want to know more about your ancestors? Read a copy of the Lives of the Saints. The family history is Church history, and there are plenty of good books about that. I say, “about that”. More precisely I should say, “about us”. Because the saints and the history of the Holy Roman Catholic Church is about us if we’re part of God’s family.

So we have a family tree and family history. Is that all? What else do we have? Well, you’d think we’d have shared family traits. We ought to look like our Mother and our Elder Brother, her first born. And we resemble them more and more as we practice the virtues. That’s not hard to understand. Its also not easy to do. But working towards a goal and not giving up, getting up each time we fall down, because we will fall down, builds up strength of character. Without that I suppose the virtues would be nothing more than wishful thinking.

But there’s one other thing that we have and we might as well get used to it because its going to be a part of our lives as long as we’re a part of this family. ” … there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged.”

The more we begin to look like our Mother and Elder Brother the less room we’ll find in this world. Sometimes we’ll be excluded because of the family resemblance. That’s because we make others uncomfortable. We remind them of things that they’d just as soon not think about. Sometimes we’ll need to excuse ourselves. There are certain things, given family traits, that we just can’t. We just can’t.

What’s to be done? There really isn’t a place in this world for us as family. So now what? Well, the answer isn’t complicated but it does take work. We work at being a close nit family. How? Go to Mass, that’s primary. But there are other things. Go to the potluck. (Yea, I know. I don’t like their casserole either. But one small serving every few months ain’t gonna kill either of us.) Join in a family enterprise. (Knights of Columbus, the Thursday evening Bible study, whatever.) If someone comes up missing and you don’t see them at Mass for a while send them a card letting them know they’re missed. (And no, not knowing them isn’t an excuse. People almost always set in the same spot. How much you wanna bet Father knows their name and the church secretary has their address? And if they don’t, well, at least you tried.) And (This ones a doosey.) Pick out a victim, er, I mean pick out someone and start a conversation before or after Mass. Maybe even invite them to coffee at whatever local coffee drinking place. And in doing any or all of the above? Treat the other people like family. Because they are.

For the rest, BRETHREN, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … There was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn. There is no real place for any of us, brothers and sisters, in this world. Unless we make a place for each other. And making room begins in the heart.

P.S. … Thank you, everyone, who’s been praying for me and my back. Its much better and its starting to look like I just agitated a nerve. *whew* I’d have been glad to go through another surgery if need be but I’d just as soon not, you know? Besides, the cat misses me when I’m gone. 😉