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Chapter 28. Fourth Commandment: Strengthen Your Family • 383

• “The Christian home is the place where children receive the first

proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly

called “the domestic church,” a community of grace and prayer, a

school of human virtues and of Christian charity” (CCC, no. 1666).

• Children call forth the gifts of their parents who—through their

love—use their education and experience to benefit their children. In

this way, children make a positive and essential contribution toward

building a truly human and Christian family.

• Adult children of elderly parents are asked to care for them with a

generous heart. “Listen to your father who begot you, / and despise

not your mother when she is old” (Prv 23:22).

• Parents exercise their love for their children by caring for their physi-

cal, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and moral needs. Responding

to these needs requires time and commitment by both mother

and father. Parents have the first responsibility for the education of

their children.

• The family is the basic unit of society. A healthy family is the prereq-

uisite of a healthy society. The authority, stability, and loving rela-

tionships that are found in families are essential for a society that

wants to sustain freedom, security, and community responsibility.

• Presidents, governors, legislators, judges, and other civil leaders are

given their authority in order to serve people. Their decisions ought

to reflect God’s plan for humanity, the natural law, and the dignity

of each person.


Excerpt: Reflections at Nazareth by Pope Paul VI

Nazareth is the school in which we begin to understand the life

of Jesus. It is the school of the Gospel. Here we learn to observe,

to listen, to meditate, and to penetrate the profound and mys-

terious meaning of that simple, humble, and lovely manifesta-

tion of the Son of God. And perhaps we learn almost imper-

ceptibly to imitate Him. Here we learn the method by which