277. In the family too, we can rethink our habits of consumption and join in caring for the environment as our common home. "The family is the principal agent of an integral ecology, because it is the primary social subject which contains within it the two fundamental principles of human civilization on earth: the principle of communion and the principle of fruitfulness".294 In the same way, times of difficulty and trouble in the lives of family life can teach important lessons. This happens, for example, when illness strikes, since "in the face of illness, even in families, difficulties arise due to human weakness. But in general, times of illness enable family bonds to grow stronger... An education that fails to encourage sensitivity to human illness makes the heart grow cold; it makes young people 'anesthetized' to the suffering of others, incapable of facing suffering and of living the experience of limitation".295
294 Catechesis (30 September 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 1 October 2015, p.8.
295 Catechesis (10 June 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 11 June 2015, p.8.
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