The family of God



“In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will, so that we might exist for the praise of His glory, we who first hoped  in Christ” (Ephesians 1:11-12).

I believe in the power of one – one true God, one sincere individual, one strong family and one nation under God. God is always with us! We are blessed to live during a time when we see chaos but know truth, so there should be no confusion. The witness of our actions to society is invaluable. How do you see the power of one working in your life? We are called to serve in different ways.

“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). This one line in Romans should inspire every baptized person to embrace the power invested in us through Christ.

The principle of subsidiarity is the assignment of power to small units. Why does this matter in our society? The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes subsidiarity this way: “Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good” (CCC 1883).

The purpose of this principle is to complement the relationships between individuals and societies. If something can be done by a smaller organization, then it should. The simplest – and most local – organization in the social order designed by God is the family! Obviously, the town, state and nation need the protection of higher social units to assist our most fundamental needs, so that all may function well. When we see the federal government take control of local affairs in education, marriage and the way we raise our children, we have a responsibility to protect the gift of God’s plan for the family.

There is a story in scripture that underscores the principle of subsidiarity – the “Flight to Egypt.” Mary and Joseph had the right to flee Egypt instead of allowing the government of Herod to make decisions that would greatly affect their family. When subsidiarity is ignored, unjust and unfortunate consequences are created. The gift of the family is worth fighting for!

Once a year, we plan a weekend together with our entire family. We call it “Camp Cannon,” and we take advantage of every minute we can by relaxing in the woods of Morgantown, Indiana.

The grandkids each take a turn designing the camp T-shirt for the weekend. We plan activities and enjoy campfires, but the most highly anticipated event for the kids is the fishing derby.

The greatest gift for me is the Mass we attend together on this weekend.

We have been blessed, and the importance of giving back to God is a daily responsibility. Praising God is a powerful message to share with young children, and it gives strength to a family. It is challenging to bring the people you love together in one place because work, school and all sorts of schedules get in the way. But if you make God a priority in your life, the challenges are less difficult and certainly more peaceful. We belong to God, and everything we do can be a moment for Him – in the woods, in our homes and, especially, in our Church! Praise His glory! Amen!