My dear brother Knights,
In a careful and consistent reading of the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacred Tradition, the husband in a family is to be the spiritual head of the family as Christ is head of His Body, the Church. This does not mean that the head is more important than any other part of the body that is the family, but that the head makes the actions of the body to resonate with the purpose of the body. The husband and father of a family is to make sure that the family is oriented to God’s purposes for the family. As Archbishop Lori, our Supreme Chaplain, wrote in his Monthly Challenge for this month, we are to “make our homes places of prayer to strengthen our families and draw nearer to God.”
On August 13, we will celebrate for the first time the Memorial of Blessed Michael McGivney, our founder. Fr. McGivney, who himself belonged to a virtuous family, encouraged Catholic men to take the responsibility of leading their families in the domestic church closer to Christ. Archbishop Lori is challenging us this month to pray each day as a family. For those among us with a wife and several children, besides knowing we are blessed, also know what a challenge this could be. But what greater task could we have each day than leading our family in communicating with Christ Jesus?
When I was young, my dad led us all in praying the Angelus each night after supper, and again our bedtime prayers. Later in my childhood, it was my dad who, though his leg had been wounded in war, taught me love for Jesus in the Eucharist as he fell on his knees when Jesus was carried past him in a Eucharistic procession. It was also my dad who supported his wife and children to take our places in serving the Church, each of us in our own way. In the eighteen years I had with him before the Lord called him to eternity, my father showed that he understood his vocation to be the spiritual head of the family God entrusted to him.
This month, as we recall Father Blessed Michael McGivney and his love for and service to families, let us ask for the grace to know how to better serve our own families, leading them in prayer and works of charity, so we can bring them closer to the Lord. May God bless you and your families with peace, joy, health, and love.
Vivat Jesus! Blessed Michael McGivney, pray for us!