U.S. author, apologist touts the family as the image of the Trinity

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July 11, 2011

LAC STE. ANNE — Families are icons of the Trinity and the place where we learn to become holy, apologist Mark Shea told the annual Family Life Conference July 2.

"Families give flesh to the vision of the Trinity in the lovely and painful and beautiful expressions of real human beings living out the Gospel," he said. "In their faces, the faces of your family, we see the first face of Christ we'll ever meet."

Shea, a popular Catholic writer and speaker from Seattle and father of four, gave several talks at the conference. A convert to Catholicism, he has written several books, including Making Sense Out of Scripture.

"We are sons and daughters pulled into the life of the Blessed Trinity with a name we can honour, a home we can love and an eternity we can rejoice in," he said.

In an interview, Shea said in Genesis we learn that it is not just man but man and woman together who are made in the image and likeness of God.

"That reveals to us something about who God is. God is a community of persons - the Blessed Trinity - and the family reflects that."

The family is the foundation of the Church's social teaching, Shea said. "If something is good for the family, it's good. If it's bad for the family, it's bad."

"For us as Catholics everything starts with the family," Shea said. "Corporations are important only if they serve the family. The state is important and good only if it is in the service of the family."

"The moment the state or the corporation begins to work against the family, they are enemies of the common good (because) they are assaulting the foundation of civilization, which is the family."