Sunday, March 4, 2012
The Christian Family - A Centripetal Force
A great deal of attention and much discussion has recently centered on a subject that should interest Holy Name Society members tremendously. It is the state of the American family. The family is a microcosm of the Church; it has an important place in God’s plan for the salvation of individual souls throughout the world.
There is growing unrest today among Holy Name Society members on what is believed to be a decline in family values. Family values can best be described as the values or beliefs that provide for a safe and secure environment for children to learn true moral values as taught to us by our Christian faith – values that keep a family in harmony and peace.
There seems to be a “centrifugal” force at work in our families. This describes the phenomenon that seems to pull our families apart, a force that should concern us greatly. The word centrifugal means literally to flee the center or fly from the center. A simple dictionary definition speaks of a force or action proceeding away from a center (see pictorial above). Scientists speak of this as a force that an object moving along a circular path exerts on that object constraining the object and acts outwardly driving it away from the center of rotation. An example would be a stone whirled on a string exerts centrifugal force on the string. The opposite force is called "centripetal" force i.e. “seeking the center” and so proceeding in a direction to the center of rotation – a force directly opposed to centrifugal force.