“Celebration of life.” A perfect name for the vital experience of the Christian existence. “Awe,” wonder,” “marvel,” are all words that point to this deep, riveting beam of light which the faith allows us to perceive in all its richness. With it, each color that passes under its gaze, each tremendous tone, exploding with brilliant originality, is celebrated in all its richness.
Unfortunately, we take these marvels for granted. Business, routine, spiritual lethargy all tend to suffocate awe-filled realities. The rampant use of abortion and the “culture of death” are clear enough signs.
How can we have forgotten how to celebrate life? To sing its praises? To compose the magnificence of its rhythms and tones? Perhaps, we continue to do so, even now, as we are invited to celebrate the birth of the Child Jesus? A question to meditate upon…
The Difference between Celebrating and Enjoying?
A good Catholic knows how to enjoy – a good glass of wine for example; but, above all, he knows how to celebrate. What’s the difference? To celebrate is to rejoice and give thanks for the being at hand, giving little importance to what it can offer to me personally, or at least considering it something secondary. Enjoyment, on the other hand, recognizes the goodness and beauty only in so far as it offers some personal benefit or pleasure.
Now, let’s apply this to the case at hand. When we think and speak about having children, it is not infrequently a very reductive vision that only looks to “enjoy” them. Durex, a condom seller, makes things pretty clear: don’t have children because, often, they aren’t “enjoyable.”
Following this same mentality, upon discovering the child’s traits, the first thing that comes to mind is whether he conforms to my desires or not: is he the size that I want, the hair color, etc. Of this, the movie Gattaca is an excellent illustration.
Celebrating, on the other hand, begins with awe. It doesn’t want to impose its will, rather it wants to dive deep into the originality of each being and marvel. This is exactly what today’s video represents in such a beautiful and touching manner.
Each one of our traits is, in one sense, a limit: we are one way and not another. Yet, if we fail to abandon the foolish logic of comparison – that is always looking upon others and ourselves according to the paradigms of our culture – we will never be able to “hear the music,” to delight in the individuality of each person who is so cherished by our creator. The mother’s tears are simply a mere drop, a reflecting shimmer that points us beyond a general “love” to a “I love you,” to a personal love that celebrates each and every particularity of your being. It is a love that has counted the hairs on your head, knows every inch of you, inside and out, and loves you; yes, you!
Today’s video invites us to convert our vision of reality into one in which celebration precedes enjoyment. Only in removing the egoistic lenses of the enjoyment mentality can we see one another clearly; and this ultimately leads to a deeper capacity and more personal experience of enjoyment.