Ecclesia Domestica – the family is the domestic church

It was Aristotle who said, “the family is something that precedes and is more necessary than the state.” Human rights (e.g. the right to marry) are recognized by the state but are not conferred by any state. The family forms by the biological ability to produce children not because the State gives them the right to form a family.

The Church has high expectations for the family, which she calls the “ecclesia domestic”, the domestic church. In the catechism of the Catholic Church, we read “It is in the bosom of the family that parents are, by word and example, the first heralds of the faith for their children. The home is the first school of Christian life and a school for human enrichment” (ccc pars 1656 – 57).

This is an important duty of parents – one which we often neglect. We must realize and accept that the most important duty you owe your children as Christian is to teach them the faith. Do you know your faith well enough to teach it or did you decide a long time ago to redefine the faith the way you want it to be? Think about what duty to your kids you put first and then ask yourself whether your choice results in you storing up treasure in heaven for yourself and your family or whether you are simply trying to store up more treasure here on earth. Because at the end of the day, the treasure here in this world is worthless.

Cardinal Pell tells us that no parent should fail to teach Christ’s core teachings. Read it here.