By Mario Martinez
These holidays are an ideal time to celebrate and discern about our family life and our marriage...
The Christian believer feels and lives in the depths of his being the goodness and strength of God, which drives him to work as a collaborator in reaching the fullness of life. Christianity is shaped by values such as love, joy, communication and respect.
When we live in a family with strong values, there is an ongoing invitation to share with each other, be generous, and grow in commitment. Families find strength in each other when confronted with problems and life’s difficulties. The family should be for its members, a shelter and a place of refuge from the tempest which society can create.
Love comes from God, and as we have been created in the image and likeness of Him, families cannot live without love. Therefore, the deepest experience of family life is born from love. It is essential and necessary that love be expressed between spouses, parents, and children. The worst thing that can happen to a family member is feeling rejected, ignored and deprived of love.
Family values are often seen as barriers to freedom. Some people challenge family values in search of their freedom. In our time, freedom can be mistakenly seen as breaking free from family ties and responsibilities and, thus, it is used as a means to self-pleasure. However, freedom is a gift which comes from giving ourselves for the good of the other.
“Christ teaches us that the best use of freedom is charity, which takes concrete form in self-giving and in service. For this freedom Christ has set us free and ever continues to set us free.” (Pope John Paul II. Redemptor Hominis, 21).
Freedom is found in the family, when values are truly lived to seek truth, justice, respect and love. Throughout our lives, it is necessary to stop along the road of our life and reflect about the importance of the family and its values. This New Year, God gives us the opportunity to do just that.
Questions for the month:
What are our family values?
Do I feel the joy of life and thanksgiving to God for life and my family?
What is the state of my home, where the children are growing and being formed?
As my children grow, would they like to form a family like the one they’ve grown in?
Does my family look like The Holy Family of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus? Where do I see the values of respect, affection, love and service being lived in my family?
Mario Martinez is the Special Project Coordinator for the Diocesan Marriage Initiative in the Office of Catechetical Ministry.