CHRISTMAS IN FAMILY

Written by misioneras

15/12/2022

JAÉN, SPAIN

I am a mother of a family educated in the legacy left to us by our mother Santa Nazaria Ignacia, founder of the M.C.I.

In broad strokes I am going to try to describe, going back in time, what Christmas means for our family. Since I was little I have been instilled with religious values. My grandmother was in charge of teaching me prayers, poetry, Christmas carols, taking me to mass and praying with faith.

Jesus of Nazareth has occupied a privileged place in our lives. We have always celebrated these holidays, giving them the meaning they have, without great luxuries and with simplicity. With my grandmother I put up the Bethlehem, the Christmas tree and, in our devotion to the Holy Family, I even believed that Saint Joseph the carpenter was similar to my family… A family of carpenters for several generations. My grandfather with great care and care made me a wooden cradle – for me the best in the world. It was so well made because it was for the Child God!

We sang traditional Christmas carols, we wrote congratulatory postcards to family and friends, with my mother I went to Misa del Gallo, but not before my father had sung the Christmas carol of the Campanilleros. On Christmas day we went to mass to give thanks to God. I have tried to transmit all this to my children, Christmas as a reason for joy. Jesus has been born in our hearts. Celebrating this important birthday meant preparing during the Advent season to receive it.

When they were little they participated in all the traditions and family gatherings. We have always tried to make them understand that the joy of these holidays does not depend as much on the material as the large shopping centers make us believe. We have explained to them that these needs are false, that there are many people in the world who need the basics to live with dignity. Reflecting with them they have shared as much as they could.

We think that the seed that promotes values of solidarity, tolerance and respect towards others has permeated them. They belong to the NGO Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, etc. This is the life project that we have transmitted to you and that drives us to worry about communicating and sharing with others. Today I see them aware and responsible to understand that the lives of many people are struggle, especially due to the thousands of human tragedies that occur daily.

Now comes that second part that is evident in our increasingly secularized society. The children have grown and times have changed. The same parameters of ours cannot be applied to the new generations.

The “spiritual” does not appeal to young people who live in the immediate present. In this sense, we find ourselves with many unmotivated and superficial young people, where individualism has gone deep.

They talk about “liquid modernity”, “liquid love”…, social relationships for them are trivial and fleeting, there is no responsibility, no commitment to others, they worship the body, etc.

When Pope Francis speaks of “The current situation of the family” in “Amoris Laetitia” on page 32, he says: “we must consider the growing danger represented by an exasperated individualism that undermines family ties and ends up considering each component of the family as an island making it prevail in certain cases, the idea of a subject that is built according to his own desires assumed with absolute character”, he goes on to say “…the tensions induced by an exaggerated individualistic culture of possession and enjoyment dynamics of intolerance and aggressiveness are generated within families”.

My children live these holidays from sharing, family gatherings, meetings and outings with their friends… and I believe that the experience, even if they do not follow a traditional religion, serves as a reflection for their lives. We are still a pillar of reference in their lives and they respect and share our values.

  Not everything has been joy this holiday season, the pandemic came to strip Christmas of luxuries and glamour. The harsh reality remained between us for two years, and although it continues, it could be said that with other nuances. The reason is the same, the same Child is born, only in the suffering of many homes that have lost their loved ones, in pain, in the sadness of those who have been financially left with nothing, those who have closed their business family members, those laid off by companies…

Human sensitivity was hurt. The news was devastating, devastating. This is how we realized the thousands of people who gave their lives for others: health workers above all, public services, civilians and a large number of volunteers who offered themselves altruistically in the face of the situation, providing help from food banks and material resources to domiciliary services. This suffering causes a dent in the world, being able to speak of a before and after in life.

In this time for the believers our faith was put to the test, it becameor more authentic, more true, stripped of all that is superficial and accessory. Let us take into account St. Nazaria whose experience drives her to seek the Kingdom of God in ordinary people, having as a reference the most needy and socio-economically disadvantaged. The Son of God was born poor in a manger, the Holy Family also suffered poverty, contempt, humiliation…

  In this context, the words said by Saint Nazaria “Let us imitate the mercy of God; for man is never so divine as when he shows himself to be more human” make sense.

I think that it is in our hands to each look for that Child, from joy and simplicity, each one taking into account the different realities in which he lives, and that are taking place in our current society. FORWARD ALWAYS FORWARD.

“Let’s go down, let’s go down to the street as the son of God goes down to earth” Sta. Nazaria Ignacia.

Chon Perez Pulido

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