Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Needs Children

In our blasphemous sinful world the Holy Family is
striking and magnificent- if only for being Father, Mother and Child.
Allow yourself to be lost in the innocence of childlike Faith
and appreciate real Christmas joy.
Painting by Murillo.
At Mass on First Saturday I looked around the chapel full of elderly people who could barely walk.  Of course our children received many smiles and kind words from these faithful old churchgoers.  One man even said, "Your family is so beautiful!" with such sincerity that the meaning became surreal to me and all I could do was thank him as well as I could.

This Mass became a reflection for me on the rarity of children.  I know there are children somewhere.  They are learning in schools and playing at parks.  But where are the children at Mass?  Our family is not something special at all.  We don't get to daily Mass very often.  In fact, I usually barely manage to have everyone's shoes on by the time we enter the Church.  But this one time we made it, we were almost the only children there.  And that is sad.

It is Advent.  Baby Jesus is coming.  Christmas morning will be joyous and marvelous in our home; and for the grown ups- parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles- the wonders of Christmas will be imparted more intensely through the children!

Why?  These children are innocent.  Innocence gives children a marvelous Faith in the Incarnation of the Christ Child, a heartfelt desire for Heaven and such fine enjoyment in the beauty of life!  After all, Christmas is about new life: man's hope for Paradise reborn at Bethlehem and the powerful principle of the Incarnation, blending human and divine.  The Christian family is also about welcoming and nourishing life, not alone, but- through grace- working directly with God.

So these old Churchgoers at Saturday Mass see children and they are moved to say kind words to me.  They love children and welcome us there in the Church where we bring them before their Creator.

Christmas is a perfect time to love children and families.  But where are the children at Christmas?  Many children are not at the Manger!  There is barrenness in the world that goes beyond childless marriages or the evils of contraception and abortion.  There is the barrenness of Christmas without baby Jesus!  There is the barrenness of a society without God.

Christmas needs the properly structured Christian family to give the wondrous joy of little children.

Look at the children around you and share their joy at welcoming our Savior.  Bring them to the manger and watch their little faces look upon the Christ Child beside His beautiful Mother.  Tell them she will watch over you too and bring your intentions to Him!  Meditate on St. Joseph's remarkable role.  Tell them of his brave virtue, offering leadership and security to the Holy Family as their own father does.  In our blasphemous sinful world the Holy Family is striking and magnificent- if only for being Father, Mother and Child.  Allow yourself to be lost in the innocence of childlike Faith and appreciate real Christmas joy.

7 comments:

  1. So true. Thank you for this meditation on this fine Advent morning.

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  2. This is a beautiful reflection. One day I was criticized for saying that the world needs more children.

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  3. Thank you for your article. It is so true. I just read the other day that the birth rate in the US is the lowest ever recorded. It is not surprising, since men and women aren't getting married anymore, and even when they do they pervert their marriage with contraception and abortion and other abominations against chastity.

    Even when children are born into an intact family, the true spirit of the family is not there. There are very few families with virtue, charity, love, affection, harmony, and supernatural spirit. Electronics, materialism, and selfishness destroy that. Children simply do not know, and have no way of knowing, what a real Catholic family is like. It hasn't existed for generations already. "Family" for them is just a place to sleep and a pair of adults to give them things. It is not a school of virtue, a birthplace of tradition, an image of the relationship we should have with God our Father and Mary our Mother.

    This is why, I believe, it is so important for Catholic families like yours to do what you describe in your article: to go out into the world and be a good example of Catholic family to others. I understand that it is hard for young mothers with many small children. It is a lot of work to feed, bathe, and clothe a large family. But it is an enormous apostolate to take them out to town. Call it the "Public Square Catholic Family Campaign." You affect far more people than you know. People see you, they way you and your children are dressed, your comportement, your genuine joy and charity with each other, the good behavior (mostly!) of your children, and it might be the first time in their life that they see what used to be an everyday sight: a normal, Catholic, virtuous, wholesome family.

    This has another effect: it gives people hope. Christmas is a time of hope for the world. Our world is increasingly a world of insanity, chaos, and despair. Like Lot's wife, the devil wants everyone to lose hope, curse God, and jump into Hell. When a Catholic family goes out into the world it gives people enormous hope. They see a sliver of sanity and goodness which might help them to not lose hope in God and to give up fighting.

    I remember when I was a student at the St. Louis de Montfort Academy from 1999-2002. Whenever we went out to town we were ALWAYS approached by people who were so impressed with the comportement and good impression of the boys. Several people told us explicitly that we gave them hope for the future.

    Many Catholic families ask what they can do to fight the modern crisis. I believe that this is a very important way to do that. And Our Lady will reward you! Salve Maria!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for this comment with more information than the article itself! It's so so good to receive this information, understanding and support. I do see it as an apostolate to encourage other people that a natural Christian family is possible, it's not as hard as the anti-family propaganda preaches.

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  4. Thank you for writing this.....I very much enjoyed reading it. I agree: the world and Holy Mother Church is in great need of children.

    God bless and Happy Advent!

    Teresia
    www.Gloria-In-Excelsis-Deo-blog.blogspot.com

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