At Catholic Digest, we aim to encourage Catholic families. A new liturgical year begins on Nov. 27 with the First Sunday of Advent. This new season is a great time to begin a new faith-building practice, such as memorizing short portions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). Just as memorization of prayers or Scripture yields spiritual benefits, so do our attempts to grow in the knowledge of Church teachings.
Below are 12 quotes from the Catechism in support of Catholic family life, grouped by three major themes. Try to memorize one quote per month as you reflect on the theme! (Note: bold print has been added to help you memorize the main thoughts in each quote.)
To be a holy family, look to the Holy Family
1. By his obedience to Mary and Joseph, as well as by his humble work during the long years in Nazareth, Jesus gives us the example of holiness in the daily life of family and work (CCC, 564).
2. Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together with all [their] household” (cf. Acts 18:8) (CCC, 1655).
The family as a domestic church
3. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children. In this sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life (CCC, 1653).
4. The home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment.” Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous — even repeated — forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life (CCC, 1657).
5. 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, 1666).
6. The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion … it can and should be called a domestic church. It is a community of faith, hope, and charity (CCC, 2204).
7. The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father’s work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity (CCC, 2205).
8. The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society (CCC, 2207).
9. The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs (CCC, 2208).
10. Sunday, the “Lord’s Day,” is the principal day for the celebration of the Eucharist. … It is the pre-eminent day of the liturgical assembly, the day of the Christian family, and the day of joy and rest from work (CCC, 1193).
Society must respect the family
11. The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family (CCC, 2209).
12. The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty “to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity” (CCC, 2210).