Appeared in Vol. 9 No. 4

Amid the pro-family and anti-family conflicts of the late twentieth century, much is said about the importance of the family to society as a whole. Too often, however, this importance is merely reasserted, and not explained. In the essay which follows, William E. May explains the importance of marriage and the family to the fundamental order of things to the individual person, and to the entire social body. May’s is a thoroughly Catholic presentation, drawing on the thought of Pope John Paul II which links the family decisively to God’s plan and, indeed, to Christ Himself. The result is an article of cogency and beauty providing intellectual and spiritual inspiration to all those who must struggle with the problems of marriage in a hostile age. [This essay was first delivered as a talk at a workshop on Pope John Paul II sponsored by the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D. C. on March 5, 1983].

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