The tenderness of our Lord is truly infinite. See how gently he treats his sons. He has made marriage a holy bond, the image of the union of Christ and his Church, a great sacrament on which is based the christian family that has to be, with God's grace, a place of peace and harmony, a school of sanctity. Parents are the cooperators of God. That is the reason why children have the obligation of loving them. It is quite right to describe, as I wrote many years ago, the fourth commandment as the sweetest precept of the Decalogue. If you live marriage as God wishes you to, in a holy way, your house will be a bright and cheerful home, full of peace and joy. (Christ is Passing By, 78, 6)
Families who lived in union with Christ and who made him known to others. Small christian communities which were centres for the spreading of the Gospel and its message. Families no different from other families of those times, but living with a new spirit, which spread to all those who were in contact with them. This is what the first Christians were, and this is what we have to be: sowers of peace and joy, the peace and joy that Jesus has brought to us. (Christ is Passing By, 30, 5)
I am moved that the Apostle should call Christian marriage sacramentum magnum – a great sacrament. From this, too, I deduce the enormous importance of the task of parents.
You share in the creative power of God: that is why human love is holy, good and noble. It is a gladness of heart which God – in his loving providence – wants others freely to give up.
Each child that God grants you is a wonderful blessing from him: don't be afraid of children! (The Forge, 691)
When I think of christian homes, I like to imagine them as being full of the light and joy that were in the home of the holy family. The message of Christmas is heard in all its forcefulness: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will (Lk. 2:14)." "And may the peace of Christ triumph in your hearts (Col. 3:15)," writes the Apostle. It is a peace that comes from knowing that our Father God loves us, and that we are made one with Christ. It results from being under the protection of the Virgin, our Lady, and assisted by St Joseph. This is the great light that illuminates our lives. In the midst of difficulties and of our own personal failings, it encourages us to keep up our effort. Every christian home should be a place of peace and serenity. In spite of the small frustrations of daily life, an atmosphere of profound and sincere affection should reign there together with a deep-rooted calm, which is the result of authentic faith that is put into practice. (Christ is Passing By, 22, 4)
The aim is this: to sanctify family life, while creating at the same time a true family atmosphere. Many christian virtues are necessary in order to sanctify each day of one's life. First, the theological virtues, and then all the others: prudence, loyalty, sincerity, humility, industriousness, cheerfulness... But when we talk about marriage and married life, we must begin by speaking clearly about the mutual love of husband and wife. (Christ is Passing By, 23, 4)