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FAMILY AS SACRAMENT

Living in the Philippines since 1999 for good, I found out about this. I learned so many things being a part of a Philippine family.  I was born in a parish house in Germany  but experienced years later how to survive in a broken family.

My Philippine mentor, Hermogenes E. Bacareza, former Chaplain of the Philippine community in Berlin and author of German-Philippine Relations,  taught me in 1988: The Christian family is also called to be a sacrament. They are called, like the Church, to be Christ to one another, as well as to the broader community. By becoming what they are called to be, the family lives the sacramental life, and the sacred can bubble up through the ordinary things of everyday life.

What on earth can be more of a sign of God’s grace than the authentic self-giving love of a fully committed married couple whose love for each other brings life and spills out upon their children and with them onto those beyond the family? This, I believe, is the new vision of the Christian family for the 21st century. 

Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom.

Families are central to God’s plan for His children. They are the fundamental building block of strong societies. Families are where we can feel love and learn how to love others. Life is tough, and we need people we can lean on.

What’s the purpose of family? These bonds are important because family helps us get through the most disastrous times and the best times. Family is important because they can offer support and security coupled with unconditional love; they will always look to see and bring out the best in you even if you cannot see it for yourself.

Since residing in the Philippines, I experienced that family is important to Christians because family is about witnessing to the Lord’s faithful love for the Church and for the whole of humanity; family is about making present, in a concrete and daily manner, the reciprocity and beauty of the love that characterises God’s life. Family is a rich school where we learn to be humane and generous, to be patient and steadfast, to be just and merciful, to be faithful and committed, to be together and to connect.

Single parented or mother-father; childless or fertile; in big cities or in the countryside; in harmony or in conflict/domestic violence; in home country or refugees; at peace or at war, married or cohabitating, separated or remarried; healthy or in illness/addiction, free or in prison, in a house or homeless, able or disabled, working locally or away from home, with or without pets; whatever the family… all families are precious in the eyes of God.

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Email: [email protected] or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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