famine ship 2There is no power great enough to break the bond of family. There have been many attempts to do so by forces seen and unseen through the ages and yet nothing, not even death, could separate the secret ingredient that mystically holds families in union.

Famine ships, with their foreboding, creaking sides have ravaged the shores of Ireland scooping up brothers and sons, fathers and daughters into the wild and desolate dark of the Atlantic ocean as the cold, bitter rain howled and lashed with the most terrible silence while kin helplessly lay upon the shores, praying and witnessing, as the brutish coffins disappeared into foggy thickness and relatives faded off forever. Yet in spite of the old enemy’s historic attempt to divide, family remained centered and strong, unbroken even by the greatest tragedies or the most hellish laws or punishments.

There is something about the family that is impenetrable to any outside force. Ways of interacting and powers of making happiness and sadness take hold or depart are unique to every family. Often, I have looked upon the families of my cousins, my friends and neighbours and wondered at their peculiarities, their oddities that were so different from those of my own family and yet they held them together in a masterful way. Gestures, mannerisms, eccentricities, words, phrases and silent communications all melded to deliver a symphony, a sound they made work.

Everything emerges from the family. Every individual is shaped, formed and molded by the years endured within the circle of kinship. Character, strength, care, compassion, will, virtue and vice are stirred and solidified as the young float on the waves of sentiment dictated by the unpredictable sea of family interplay. This can be good and this can be bad but what is absolute is the truth that what happens within the family structure, as a child grows, is so vitally important for the good, not only of those individuals but for the good of the families they may one day form themselves, the organizations they may strive to develop or work within or the communities with whom they seek connection. The family is the rock of the world, the building block of civilization and unless it is given the utmost precedence in the lives of all humanity it could potentially become the downfall of our species.

famine shipIf one has become one, then nothing should preoccupy the mind of a man more than the good of the family entrusted to him. He may have his own wife and children or he may yet be one of many siblings but all men proceed from and give to others. They owe their own personality to those interpersonal experiences and their family members owe their personality to him. He can look at his family as a group of individuals who owe him some favour, some duty to help him move forward in life. Alternatively, he could look at those others as people in his care, surmising that with the right nurturance those others could flourish to be great and wondrous examples of humanity, who will then affect others who in turn will affect others. The decisive action of one man in a moment can ripple in effect through the ocean of eternity.

When we wake every morning we are called to complete a series of actions that if carried out according to the plan of our Maker will aid in His plan to create harmony throughout the world. This music making begins immediately, in our own families and within that structure we can choose to strike peaceful and melodious cords or we can choose discord. The man with strength will strive to understand the pull of emotion that tempts so many to break peace and they will work unceasingly to master it. The man of weakness will give in and allow noise to infiltrate and tear and destroy what God has ordained to be good. Man chooses, but the mark of strength, and for that matter the mark of true freedom, is resistance of anything that could hurt or deform the good of another. This is hard but our strength is not our own but comes from a source we must never break from.

Research is clear that fatherhood is the most essential ingredient is giving direction to the children within the home. Children take lead and follow even the slightest hint of guidance from a father. It is so very essential that fathers embrace their duty to be leaders. With the multitude of attacks forming unmercifully against the family in our modern world it is ever more urgent that fathers stand up and reject the evils, which seek to divide and conquer, the unending hordes of famine ships that beckon with enchantment our entranced young to their mortiferous doors. Collectivism exclaims that children belong to the community. Community begins to teach the false virtue of “tolerance” in the form of relativism, which seeks to teach our children what is good, yet even bad can be labeled good under that tyrannical belief system. Suddenly, pornography, abortion, contraception, divorce, pre marital sex, cohabitation, infidelity, homosexual acts and anything that had traditionally been universally known as evil has become good as long as it feels good. And as it is pushed through media propaganda mills our young people walk with arms outstretched toward it without question, without reason, without logic. Government seeks to redefine and distort the definition of family union but nothing will ever remove the truth that every person has a mother and a father and that the interplay of parental femininity and masculinity brings balance to the home.

God is the strength of all men. Draw strength from Him. The family is the ship of God. In every home seek to understand His will, His direction, for His will is always available. Sit in powerful, silent meditation and pray for guidance and accept the promptings of conscience moved by reason rooted in the teaching of His Church. Know that the good of others is the starting point. Know that anything that is opposed to the good of others is not of Him. We do not possess strength on our own merit. Any strength we have is given us through Him. The Holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is the greatest example of humility, acceptance of God’s will and perseverance through adversity in working for the good of another. It is the way Christ chose to be nurtured to adulthood and therefore it is the model for all children. We must never let go of this reality.

There will always be famine ships on the horizon, looming ever closer to snatch away our children from their homes but those bearers of evil will be powerless against the foundation of a strong, faithful family immersed in the only One who saves. No matter what form those ships take, if we remain in His will, the bond of our families can never be broken and we will sail to Paradise.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph we give you our hearts and our souls

Jesus, Mary and Joseph assist us in our last agonies

Jesus, Mary and Joseph may we breath forth our souls in peace with you. Amen

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