"And He went down to Nazareth, and
was subject to them."
- St. Luke 11.51
From Catholic Life Imprimatur 1908 Published by Washbourne
God the Son became man not only to redeem us, but also to be our model; and as the family circle is the source whence future generations are supplied, He, in union with His Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, made the house at Nazareth the model for future homes.
The foundation of society is authority, properly used and obeyed; and this principle received its consecration in the perfect obedience of the Man-God, Who for love of us was obedient to two of His own creatures. Our Lady, too, despite her superiority to St. Joseph, obeyed his least wish. On such a foundation it can be easily understood how a perfect superstructure of domestic virtues and happiness was erected. Heavenly peace reigned; harmonious order prevailed; pious conversation intervened between the labours of the workshop and the times allotted to prayer; a godlike love pervaded all; and kindness, supported by mutual forbearance and self-denial, completed the cup of domestic happiness. "Fathers of families have in Joseph a most perfect model of watchfulness and paternal care; mothers have in the Virgin Mother of God the most beautiful and admirable example of love, modesty, humility, and perfect faith; whilst children have in Jesus, who was subject to them, the Divine example of obedience which they should admire, worship, and imitate" (Leo XIII.). All, then, during this month, ought to compare their lives with those at Nazareth, and see what can be done to make our homes more like that of the Holy Family - what we ought to correct in our manners, temper, or words; what we can do to make the family reunions more happy, and thus remove the desire of seeking happiness elsewhere.
A practical help will be to join the Association of the Holy Family, so richly
indulgenced, and so necessary in these times, when clubs and other social gatherings are threatening to take the place of, or to destroy, domestic happiness.
"Deeds no grander, ways no stranger,
Simple duties as they came,
Made their lives so like all others
That they almost seemed the same.
But below that even surface
Love was welling to the brim,
Turning every thought to Jesus,
Bearing every pain for Him."
Example- Sir Thomas More's Family
More's family was a large one. It consisted of his old father, his wife, his daughter Margaret and her husband, William Roper, his daughters Elizabeth and Cecily, his only son John, and his step-daughter Alice Middleton and her
husband; also Giles Heron, his ward, who afterwards married Elizabeth More, Margaret Giggs, an orphan relative, whom he brought up as one of his own children, and her husband John Clement.
His great-grandson says: "It might well be said of him what the Queen of Sheba said of Solomon: "Blessed art thou; and blessed be thy Lord God; and blessed are all they that attend and wait on thee" (3 Kings x. 8,9). For no doubt there was the spirit of God in that family, where every one was busied about something or other...as it were in some religious house, all chaste, all courteous, all devout."
Erasmus says: "His wife, who excels in good sense and experience rather than learning, governs the little company with wonderful tact, assigning to each a task, and requiring its performance, allowing no one to be idle or to
be occupied in trifles."