QUEZON City, Dec. 13, 2014—A Catholic sister reminds the faithful that the Yuletide season is all about God’s love, mercy, and compassion dwelling in the hearts of every Christian.

For Sr. Anthony Mary Basa of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM), Christmas is not just an annual event, but a permanent reality enshrined in the “temple of the hearts” of every person where “Christ Himself dwells,” and which can never be destroyed.

The faithful in Naga City venerate an image of the Child Jesus on Christmas eve. (File photo)

While conceding that no one is forced to go to church nor follow Christmas traditions, she points out that the very nature of Christmas itself, which is one of love, draws the faithful—the People of God—to the church in order to commemorate and celebrate the Lord’s coming to the world.

“No one is forced to celebrate Christmas, but everyone, whether Christian or otherwise, is entitled to receive the benefits of this celebration: gifts, packages, bonuses,” Basa says.

“We give ‘presents’ on Christmas because we acknowledge the ‘presence’ of God in our hearts, in our family, community and in each person whom we encounter,” she adds.

The sister, who also serves as executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Culture (ECC) stresses that nothing can stop people, young or old, to go to church on Christmas because “we are drawn to Christ Who is the beauty that saves the world”. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)