Surviving Family Gatherings During the Holidays
The holidays seem to stir up wistful images of warm family gatherings with lots of affection, laughter and renewed connections accompanied by plenty of good food. At the same time, old divisions, past hurts, and annoying personalities can resurface and taint the ideal images of these gatherings. Like the holiday meal that requires advanced planning, the best antidote to family tensions at these reunions is some internal preparation. That may mean, taking stock of one’s feelings about a particular family member and deciding in advance how one will deal with them in a respectful way. These gatherings are not the time to settle old scores or attempt to change a person’s point of view. It is a time for appreciating the gift of family, refocusing on the positive strengths and contributions of each member and practicing forgiveness even if it is not requested. God, who is a community of persons as Father, Son and Spirit, invites us to learn to love through the families we belong to, in spite of their annoyances. Seeing these gatherings as an opportunity to grow in our ability to love, gives these gatherings added meaning and importance.
Prayer for Families After the Floods
Gracious and Almighty Father,
In this time of loss and sorrow following the floods,
Please be with our families and loved ones
As we attempt to pick up the pieces of our damaged homes and tumultuous lives.
Give us strength and courage to face each day with hope and renewal.
Grant calm and patience to our mothers and fathers even when stresses are great.
Grant obedience and flexibility to our children even when they don’t fully understand what’s going on around them.
Grant generosity and compassion to our neighborhoods so that we might support each other and offer helping hands and gentle words when the strength of others falters.
Help us to grow closer to each other and to You
And let this be an opportunity for our faith to find new roots in your unceasing mercy.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all that you have done for us and continue to do,
You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
We also turn to you, our Blessed Mother, protector of families, that you may see our need as you saw the need of the newly married couple in Cana (John 2). We ask that you petition Jesus on our behalf to supply what necessities enable our households to return to normal again. Amen.
LA Bishops Make a Statement on Surrogacy Issue
The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops (LCCB) seeks to articulate the Catholic Church’s teaching on the issue of surrogacy in light of legislation proposed during last year’s legislative session as well as what is before the Louisiana Legislature presently. The Church is clear and consistent in her teaching that surrogacy, in any form, is to be opposed as an immoral means to create a family. The desire to have a child is both natural and good. We recognize that issues of infertility can be incredibly sensitive and personal. While acknowledging this reality, it is important to realize that pursuing all means in the effort to create a child presents moral and ethical concerns and that a child is truly a gift to be given as opposed to a right to attain.
Surrogacy arrangements commercialize and objectify women relegating them to a utilitarian purpose. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith spoke to this point in Donum Vitae as it stated that surrogacy is contrary to the dignity of persons. Surrogacy diminishes the dignity of women in that it grossly focuses on what women can produce as opposed to the entire worth and being of who women have been created to be. In addition, surrogacy fails to acknowledge the uniqueness of the mother-child relationship to the detriment of women from a physical, psychological, and spiritual level.
To finish reading the rest of their statement or to read the statement as a whole, click here.
2018 Dates for