30 December 2012

Holy Families Meditation

From 2009:

Something to think about on this Holy Family Sunday. . .

Trinitarian Family:  Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Holy Family:  Jesus, Mary, Joseph

Eschatological Family:  Christ & Church

Social Family: Individual, family, State*

Ecclesial Family:  Bishop, priest, deacon, laity

Domestic Family:  Mom, Dad, kids, etc.

Individual Family:  body, soul, spirit

Now, starting at the top with the Trinitarian Family, move down the list of families and mediate on how each familial relationship is a more perfect relationship than the one below it.**

Then, starting at the bottom with the Individual Family, move up the list of families and mediate on how each familial relationship is an imperfect reflection of the one above it.

How does the more perfect familial relationships help perfect/complete the imperfect/incomplete familial relationships?

Report your findings.

*I added this one after getting feedback from knowledgeable HA readers.
** "more perfect" here is a way of saying "more complete given X's telos"

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  1. If a man wants his wife to be more like Our Lady, he should be more like St.Joseph.

    If a woman wants her husband to be more like Saint Joseph, she should be more like Our Lady

    And if Children want parents to be more like them, they should be more like HIM.

    Your family is what you make it.

    It's a pity that I completely fail at being more like Our Lady.

  2. Anonymous1:50 PM

    State? Nah, the community or society or the nation, all which predate the state, which only in the last few centuries has been identified with the nation, and unduly so.

    1. Augustine, I agree. . .however, I didn't want to use terms in odd ways given the nature of the exercise.

  3. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Two virgins raising a Messiah? Hardly a useful model for an actual family.

  4. Hmmm....I found the second exercise much more intuitive, and even in the midst of the first exercise caught myself naurally moving into the second. Because I couldn't do this in one sitting, I went in Many different directions. My first thoughts went to love, with the ultimate perfection of love being found in the Trinitarian family. Each step down spreading the love, making it less "centralized" until it was spread so thin as to only exist in the selfish love within just one: body,soul, spirit...then moving back up requires an expanding of love, a little at a time, opening the "self" into the love required for a family; each successive step chipping away at a selfish love, until it is so big and open and all-encompassing that it is back to the love of the Father, Son, Spirit. Each step up drawing us more and more into a larger community. Which is another direction I took: community. We are not designed to be alone, but in each successive leap to the next level we expand and experience more of what makes us more fully human. So each successive step requires an opening, a trusting, a submission, to something bigger and more outside of ourself. It seemed a bit counter-intuitive that the further you get away from "you" the closer you get to actually being who you are meant to be...

    So the more perfect relationships draw us further and further out of our selves, and in so doing bring us step by step closer to perfection, which can only be found when we are not constrained to just the me of ourselves. Not sure if that makes any sense to anyone except me, but it's my report. (And sorry for typos and grammar errors - I'm just learning how to use this device I'm on, and haven't figured out how to go back and make corrections)