Fr Stefan more working notes for his book on the Theology of the Healing of the family tree ‘Thoughts and ideas from Scott Hahn ‘First Comes Love Finding Your family in the Church and in the Trinity’

‘Ancestors were revered in ancient cultures. Reverence was owned especially, but not exclusively to the patriarch. The tomb of one’s forbears was considered a second home.’ (19)

‘Social scientists have developed many models for understanding this family arrangement. The one I’ve found most useful is that of Carle C Zimmerman of Harvard University who spoke of ancient families as ‘trustee families’ In his monumental work: Family and Civilization Zimmerman explained: ‘The trustee family is so named because it more or less considers itself as immortal, existing in perpetuity and never being extinguished. As a result the living members are not the family, but merely ‘trustee’ of its blood, rights, property name and position for their lifetime.’

‘The trustee family envision the family primarily in religious terms. It’s is not the nuclear family, or even the extended family, but all the members of the family in the past and the future as well as in present generations. A sacred bond unites members in the present generation with the ancestors who gave them life; the same bond unites them with their future descendants; who will perpetuate the family name, honor and worship.’ (21-22)

If you counted yourself among the sons and daughters of Israel, you numbered your ‘brothers and sister’ in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, or millions.’ (23)

‘The nation of Israel itself was such a family, since it was populated mostly by those who claimed descent from the patriarch Jacob (also know as Israel) Jacob’s twelve sons in turn, provided the family identity for the ‘Twelve Tribes’ of Israel. Each tribe, then was a distinct family whose members called one another ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ children of a common father, the long-ago patriarch. So even distant cousins were considered siblings.’ (18)

‘In Israel, the Twelve Tribes understood themselves collectively to be the ‘Family of God’ but in something more than a metaphorical sense, because God created them guided them, protected them, and provided for them-as a father begets, guides, protects and provides for the family. God then acted as a father to the nation of Israel. (Dt 32:6 Jer 31:9) (28)

‘God is One, but not Solitary’ God is a communion of persons. God is a family. Genesis God says let ‘Us’ create man in our image. ‘The royal we’ what John Paul called the ‘Divine We’ (40)

‘God then, is three; yet God is one. This is the mystery of the Trinity, ‘the central mystery of Christian faith and life…the mystery of God in Himself…the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlighten them.'(CCC 234)

‘The Terrestrial Trinity’ ‘John Paul II ‘The only-begotten Son…entered into human history through the family.’

( Check out ‘the divine mystery of the incarnation’ John Paul II letter to families p 7…..also Whereas Adam and Eve..See Pope John Paul II Redemptoris Custos (on the Person and mission of Saint Joseph in the life of the Church p 14)

‘Within His Holy Family, Jesus lived a life that was an earthly image of the eternal Trinity, How fitting that devotional writers and artists have often portrayed the Holy Family as an ‘earthly trinity’ which again in the words of Pope John Paul II ‘so admirably reflects the life of communion and love of the eternal trinity.'(46)


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