St. Angela Merici was known to say, "Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family."
For us it can be tempting to think that the only way to change the trajectory of the world is to enact laws that make society better. While legislation can help to that end, the core of the problem is much deeper.
Saints in particular would look at the state of the world and pinpoint the solution that would solve all of our problems in society.
St. Angela Merici, for example, would frequently say, “Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family.” This saying shaped how she approached her ministry, and she did everything she could to bring order to the family in any way that she could.
St. John Paul II shared this mindset, and was well-known for repeating a similar saying. He said in a visit to Australia, “As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
He expanded on this idea in his apostolic exhortation, Familiaris consortio, reinforcing this idea of reforming the family in order to reform the world.
The family is “the first and vital cell of society.”The family has vital and organic links with society, since it is its foundation and nourishes it continually through its role of service to life: it is from the family that citizens come to birth and it is within the family that they find the first school of the social virtues that are the animating principle of the existence and development of society itself.
Virtue and prayer should begin in the family, where children first learn them. If they do not learn those values from their parents, they may not ever learn them, or learn them much later in life.
The saints challenge us today to see how we can impact the world by starting with our family.