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382 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

There needs to be mutuality in the relationships, roles, and respon-

sibilities of all members of the family. Each and every family member

must work at giving love, respect, commitment, and support to and for

each other.

Finally, family members need to take time to be with each other.

Prayer and worship together is important, especially Sunday Mass and

family prayers such as the Rosary. Shared meals should be a priority.

A family can establish certain traditions and rituals that enrich and

strengthen family life. They can also take part together in retreats or

family education programs. They can watch television together and dis-

cuss the values being promoted.

Family members can also benefit from taking some time to be in

solitude, to reflect on and to hear God’s Word.


1. Reflect on your family life. When have you felt God’s presence in

your midst? Why was this? What was happening?

2. What pressures have caused pain for your family? How did you

deal with them? Did this bring you closer or drive you farther apart

as a family?

3. What is it about your family that matters most to you? How well

do your family members share themselves with each other? How

are you balancing time and commitment to family, work, and

community? What choices can be made to improve your family as a

faith community?


• “A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their chil-

dren, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by

public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be

considered the normal reference point by which the different forms

of family relationships are to be evaluated” (CCC, no. 2202).