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Pope Francis' Beautiful New Prayer for Families

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On the Feast of the Holy Family, December 29, 2013, Pope Francis invited all Catholics to pray for families as the Church prepares for an Extraordinary Synod to examine the troubling disconnect between Church teaching and the reality of modern family life. In his Angelus address given to the crowds in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis recited for the first time his new Prayer to the Holy Family. (Full text available here.)

The prayer seeks the help of the Holy Family while at the same time revealing Pope Francis' vision of the family as it is and as it could be. It paints an ideal portrait of family life and yet acknowledges the severe difficulties faced by many. It concludes with a heart-felt petition for the renewal of the sacredness and inviolability of the family. Pope Francis' prayer is a short primer on the theology of the family and deserves careful contemplation. Let's see what he says.

The Splendor of True Love
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splen…

Holy Work by AmySecrist

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“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.  If you are blamed, you won’t be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won’t put yourself on a pedestal.” 

 ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

My ears adjust, repressurize
in response to the forty-fifth high-pitched scream of the day
as I scrape uneaten bits of lettuce and broccoli from the dinner plates. “This is holy work,” I tell myself,
my face close to the trash can, the odor
of old banana peels and used diapers mixing and wafting upward. My husband stops home for a quick dinner
and I tell him how I’ve not yet lost my mind;
then he heads back to the office and I lose my mind. The little ones pick and poke and pester each other,
and I add my screeches to their screeching and everything stops -
“I’m sorry,” I tell them, stooping down.  ”I could have said that nicely.”

Almost before I ask, they forgive me and we are hugging; they are giving me all of their love, so I am giving them all of mi…