Thursday, December 30, 2010

Feast Day of the Holy Family

Today, we celebrate the Holy Family, all of them, not just the baby in the manger, not just the sanctified version of the mother. Today we recognize the importance of the entire family to the health and well-being of Jesus.

It's a good time to think about our own families. How are we helping the next generation to find God? How are we nurturing young spirituality?

Perhaps this would be a good time to think about our own faith journeys. This week-end would be a great time to write some of those memories down. I wish that I had more from my grandfather. I know that he was accepted into seminary in the early years of the great Depression. The president of the seminary wrote him a letter to tell him that he couldn't be sure that he'd have a church career afterwards, since the economy was so grim. The seminary president encourage my grandfather to stay on the farm, since at least there he would have food. He ignored that advice and went to seminary. If he hadn't been in seminary, he wouldn't have had his internship in the hills of East Tennessee, and he wouldn't have met the woman who would have become my grandmother.

I know the story, but I don't know it in his words. I don't know if he had regrets. I'd love to know what he considered to be the highlights of his ministry. I'd love to know about his private spirituality and how it meshed with his church work.

We may think we aren't important, but we are, even if we don't have church vocations. Some day, when our memories aren't reliable, we'd be happy if we had written down our spiritual lives. Our descendants would be even happier.

So, today, we celebrate the Holy Family. Today is a great day to think about the spiritualities of our own families and how to celebrate and strengthen them. Today is a great day for stories and reflection, as we head towards another year.

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