ONE of the most common concerns I hear is from family members worried about their loves ones who have fallen away from the faith. This response was first published February 7th, 2008…
WE often say "Noah’s ark" when we speak of that famous boat. But it wasn’t just Noah who survived: God saved a family.
Together with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, Noah went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. (Gen 7:7)
When the prodigal son returned home, a family was restored, and relationships were mended.
Your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found. (Luke 15:32)
When the walls of Jericho fell, a harlot and her whole family were sheltered from the sword because she had been faithful to God.
Only the harlot Rahab and all who are in the house with her are to be spared, because she hid the messengers we sent. (Josh 6:17)
And "before the Day of the Lord comes…", God promises:
I will send you Elijah, the prophet… to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers… (Mal 3:23-24)
SAVING THE FUTURE
Why is God going to restores families?
The future of the world passes through the family. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Familiaris Consortio
It will be families too that God will gather into the Ark of Mary’s heart, to grant them safe passage into the next Era. It is for this very reason that the family is the fulcrum of Satan’s attack on humanity:
The crisis of fatherhood we are living today is an element, perhaps the most important, threatening man in his humanity. The dissolution of fatherhood and motherhood is linked to the dissolution of our being sons and daughters. —POPE BENEDICT XVI (Cardinal Ratzinger), Palermo, March 15th, 2000
But with God there is always a solution. And it was given to us through the head of the Church family, the Holy Father:
The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary… the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation.
Today I willingly entrust to the power of this prayer… the cause of peace in the world and the cause of the family. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 39
Through our prayers and sacrifices now, especially the prayer of the Rosary, we are preparing the way of the Lord, making straight paths for our loved ones who are lost in sin to return home, even those caught in "the most difficult problems." It is not a guarantee—everyone has free will and can reject salvation. But our prayers can bring about that ray of grace, an opportunity for repentance, which otherwise may not be granted.
Rahab was a harlot, a prostitute. Yet she was spared because of an act of faith (Josh 2:11-14), and as such, God extended His mercy and protection over her entire family. Do not give up! Continue to trust in God, and entrust your family to Him.
When God was about to purify the earth by a flood, He looked over the earth and only found favor with Noah (Gen 6:8). But God saved Noah’s family too. Cover your family member’s nakedness with your love and prayers, and above all your faith and holiness, as Noah brought covering for His family… as Jesus covered us through his love and tears, indeed, His very blood.
Love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pet 4:8)
Yes, entrust your loved ones to Mary, for I tell you, Satan will be bound by the chain of the Rosary.
RESTORATION OF MARRIAGE
If God is to save families, then first and foremost, He will save marriages. For in marital union lies the anticipation of the eternal union for which Christ is preparing the Church:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:25-27)
The Era of Peace is the Era of the Eucharist, when Christ’s Eucharistic presence will be established to the ends of the Earth. During this period, the Church, the Bride of Christ, will reach the heights of sanctity primarily through her Sacramental union with the flesh of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist:
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. (v. 31-32)
The Church will live Pope John Paul’s teachings on the "theology of the body" when our human sexuality will realign with God’s will, and our marriages and families will become "holy and without blemish." The Body of Christ will reach its full stature, prepared to be united to its Head for all eternity when the Church will reach her ultimate perfection in Heaven.
The theology of the body [is] a "theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences …perhaps in the twenty-first century." —George Weigel, Theology of the Body Explained, p. 50
Jesus said, "wisdom is vindicated by her works." Is not His greatest work the human person? Indeed, the restoration of the family and marriage will be the ultimate Vindication of Wisdom before His final return in glory.
Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things. (Mark 9:12)
First published December 10th, 2008.