It would be a tragedy to neglect vital link between family based on marriage and well-being of society
Time to give fresh heart and new energy to ‘this vital social entity’
The Christian vision of marriage can become a catalyst for renewal of good neighbourliness and support in local communities.
Few institutions have been subject to such pressures and change in recent years as the family based on marriage. From the emotional and practical turmoil of dealing with the fallout of the economic crisis, to wider societal and attitudinal changes, the unit regarded by our Constitution as the very foundation of society has passed through some very turbulent waters in recent years.
The time seems right for fresh heart and new energy to be given to this vital social entity in which so much of our personal emotional, spiritual and financial wellbeing is vested and from which so much of our personal and social life draws its strength.
This is why the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, whose members, lay and ordained, have a commitment to supporting family life in society and the church, has organised its first national conference.
This conference will take place at the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, on Saturday September 28th from 9.30am to 4.30pm. While it is hoped that the event will be of particular interest to people who work to support marriage and family within the parishes and dioceses of the country, all who have an interest in giving fresh heart and hope to the vocation of Christian marriage and the wellbeing of the family in our society are welcome.
Busy and distracted society
Marriage is at the heart of the church. It is that place where adults uniquely commit themselves to each other for life and so fulfil their deepest human identity. Marriage is also rooted in the real situations of daily life. It goes through ups and downs. It may be even stretched to the limits of our human resources of comprehension and commitment.
This is why, like our relationship with God itself, it requires our attention, effort, time and care. A very real danger in our busy and distracted society is that married couples are left feeling isolated in their challenges.
The sacramental dimension of marriage not only brings with it co-responsibility for each other as a couple, but also for the support and good of marriage itself.
The vocation to love, upon which marriage is founded, calls couples beyond themselves and their own children to a communion with and co-responsibility for other married couples and families.
What is often expressed as good-neighbourliness is actually a living out of the vocation of married couples to be a sign of God’s faithful and committed love for his people.