TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF MONSEIGNEUR DE LA BOUILLERIE, Archbishop of Perga, Coadjutor of Bordeaux.
THE EUCHARIST AND FAMILY LIFE.
"how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?— Matt, xxiii. 37.
ONE of the most admirable institutions of Jesus Christ is, most certainly, the Christian family.
Sin, in soiling our nature, had deteriorated the ties which it forms between men.
The family existed no longer. In order to regenerate it, it was necessary to regenerate the world.
Jesus Christ did both. He purified the world in the waters of baptism, and, raising marriage to the dignity of a sacrament, He created the Christian family.
Marriage is the sacred source of the family. It ennobles and strengthens the feelings which unite husband and wife; but its action does not stay here. The grace which the husband and wife receive is communicated to the father and mother. Then from the parents it descends to the son. Who may say the loving relations, the holy affections, the noble duties which are born of this blessed union!
The family is as a little world which is complete in itself. Past, present, future; interests, joys, sorrows ; all is in common, and all contributes to the common happiness. Happy is he who has lived in the midst of a Christian family! Happy he who has tasted its power and its charm!