24 August 2018
World Meeting of Families

Martinez (Nazareth Family Center), “The crisis of the family is spiritual, prayer as an antidote”

“The Christian family is wounded tenderness, but ostension of the sacrament of divine tenderness. As long as it will be on earth, the Christian family will always be in secret empathy with human suffering.” This was said by Salvatore Martinez, president of the Renewal in the Spirit and president of the Vatican Foundation “International Family Center of Nazareth”, who spoke today at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. His words also contained a message of hope: “A Christian family that lives by the Holy Spirit will never lose courage; to it, every enterprise will seem possible. Let us not lose heart, then, and let us make Amoris Laetitia, the joy of love in the family, our Gospel for the world.” Looking at the crisis of the family, Martinez considers it a “spiritual crisis”.

“Today the art of living in love is in crisis, because our experience of God in our homes is in crisis,” he added, “Our children do not die for lack of bread or work; they suffer and die for lack of love.” According to the president of the Vatican Foundation “International Family Center of Nazareth”, this has two implications: “Christian education in the family has been in crisis and the transmission of faith in our homes is in crisis”. But “the family lives, it is alive, and it is destined to give life to the world”. “The family is alive if it spiritually regenerates itself without surrendering in the face of evil, to the many evils that daily affect it,” said Martinez. Now, in order to succeed—in his opinion—“spiritual regeneration” and, especially, “family prayer” are necessary “as an antidote”. “The presence of the Spirit in the family is nourished by praying, allowing God to visit us in our homes every day. There is no better, more effective way than to pray and to pray together. When the family prays, the family is vigilant, prophetic, in love, incarnated, in communion.”