We Are a Family! Every home, a school of Life and Love
We are born as a Family!
We remember that the Strenna of 2006 was centered on the theme of Family. Proposing the Strenna for 2017, the Rector Major emphasizes that in the wake of the Post-Synodal Ecclesial reality in which we find ourselves and in the context of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ of Pope Francis, it is opportune that we focus our educative and pastoral attention on the family.
We are born in a family, and are born a family, with the beauty and limits of every family, but ultimately within a family. It is there we learn the art of life and love. The family, as we know is made up of persons who love, communicate, and sacrifice themselves for the good of the family. A child becomes a mature person by living in a family, growing up with the parents, and breathing the warmth of the home. It is in the family that we are given a name and therefore dignity; that we experience affection, cherishes intimacy, learn to ask permission and forgiveness and to express gratitude.
As a religious congregation we possess a strong sense of the bond of religious family that unites us. As Salesians the family spirit and family atmosphere are constitutive part of our being, and our pastoral activity toward the families, with the families, for the families. The Rector Major invites us for a serene and frank reading of the text of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’, a true spiritual and pastoral treasure, in order to discover our duties as Salesian Family towards the families.
The Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ summarizes the ecclesial reflection of many years, but it also introduces, at the same time, a change of tone, of language and perspective from the canonical level to a pastoral one. The Pope himself says, “We need to be humble and realistic, acknowledging that at times … we have proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite” (AL36). The document contains nine chapters that illumine the reality of matrimony and of the family from different points of view, trying to harmonize the presentation of the beauty of the divine plan with the realistic and merciful attention to the many lacking and painful situations which occur in real life. Each chapter is an admirable intertwining of fidelity to the truth with compassion and mercy. In it, it is illumined from the Word of God, without ignoring the present situation, always with the look of faith in Jesus Christ. Love in the family is always the main theme, with the richness of fruitfulness and the education of children and the pastoral suggestions that may help in the journey in situations of fragility and imperfection.
In the context of modern family realities which are very complex and challenging we are called to reach out and construct relationships, heal wounds, and help to leave behind fears. Our educative and pastoral interventions must make every home a school of life and love.