June 2022: Editorial
The 10th World Meeting of Families takes place this month in Rome and the theme is ‘Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness.’ Even in 2022 many significant moments in family life are marked in church. Baptisms, weddings, funerals and at this time of year First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies. In many parish communities there are also the great annual gatherings in cemeteries to remember deceased loved ones and to share the experience of loss. It was Peig Sayers of the Blasket Islands, the bane of students at summer exams in times past who told of the trees on the island which withstood the storms and survived because they stood close together. Faith, family and community the three-legged stool on which most of our lives rest providing stability and support for life’s journey.
There is an old story about two brothers who inherited a farm together, one was married and the other single, so half of the grain went to each. After a while the married brother began to think that it wasn’t fair; “ I have four children and a wife to look after me in my old age but my poor brother has no one to care for him.” So he sneaked over to his brother’s place in the night and poured a sack of grain into his granary. But his brother too had been thinking how lucky he was to just have to care for himself while his brother had a wife and children to provide for. He too started going over at night and pouring a sack of grain into his brother’s granary. Then one night the inevitable happened and they ran into each other with their sacks of grain. Years later after their death the story leaked out and so when the time came for the people of the town to build a new place of worship they decided to build at the spot where the two brothers met with their sacks of grain because they couldn’t think of anywhere in the town holier than that.
We can echo the prayer of Pope Francis this month for his intention for Christian families. May they embody and experience unconditional love and so advance in holiness.