Share our dream to enflame our homes with the joy of the Gospel

Family matters
Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

If I were to pick an image that best sums up what our world and lives resemble since the COVID-19 virus came crashing into our lives, it would be a neighborhood that has been devastated by a tornado.

The questions that image brings to mind are where do we start to rebuild and who can help us get back to “normal.”

While we experience a loss of “normal,” this time gives us the chance to step back and choose a way of life that is less cluttered and busy and allows us to experience the true gift God has given us in one another.

Perhaps and hopefully you have heard of the Joyful Marriage Project.

The concept came about as a way to visualize what we can do to build joyful homes and families where marriage and family prosper and become a way of life that all would desire.

It is a little like the phrase that people used to describe the early church: “See how these Christians love one another!” People wanted that joy for themselves.

The Joyful Marriage Project offered a blueprint, sort of a do-it-yourself plan to build your dream home.

It starts with the foundation necessary to build a home that can withstand the stresses of daily life.

It allows a family to design the interior of the home where daily life is lived out — a place that fosters the important parts of daily life, like family prayer, family meals and family celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries; a place that welcomes Christ into our daily lives.

In the coming months, our goal in the office of marriage and family life is to further enhance the Joyful Marriage Project by offering a daily plan of life that offers simple tools to enhance family prayer and discover and celebrate the ways that we can find Jesus present in our home. It will offer simple ways to help form our children in the ways of the faith.

The various tools and suggestions will be such that every family can choose what is most attractive and needed in their lives.

These opportunities to grow in love of one another and Christ will provide the tools to “Enflame Our Homes” with the joy of the Gospel.

Like the early church, others will look at us and say, “See how they love one another! What an attractive way of life. We want this in our lives.”

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