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
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
• “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).