Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve...

A painting by Michael Sowa. (See, the guy has his computer!)
"Alone on Christmas"
(Actually, I'm not alone, a friend is here. But I love quiet Christmas eves.)
Being alone on Christmas is rather nice if one is religious - especially so when one is a Catholic.
As one ages, especially when one is single, Christmas changes. The emphasis, in my experience, is less upon self, gifts and parties, and becomes decidedly more spiritual, concentrated upon the mystery of Christ's birth, while focused upon others and their needs. (Even when one is a hermit of sorts.)
Being alone is not as frightful as others think. Men and women enter cloistered monasteries and never see their families or share in worldly celebrations, just as hermits have done for centuries. The urban hermit does likewise.
Christmas is completely different for the mature person, since the celebration has long evolved to acclimate the person to relishing the solitude.
Those who need compassion, our thoughts and prayers - as well as our presence, are those abandoned in nursing homes, or those who have recently lost a loved one, thus radically changing their experience and perception of Christmas.
Others in need are the soldiers, whether in combat or stationed away from family and loved ones, many away from home for the first time.
The men and women in prison - even if it is a psychological prison of some illness or disorder, along with the homeless of course, and the indigent.
There are families trapped in abuse, battered wives and children. The sexually exploited of all ages, as well as those entangled in the drug culture, or a life of crime and violence of any sort.
Neither can we forget those who refuse to believe in Jesus, or those who may not understand Him, or even know of Him.
These are the people who are really alone on Christmas, and not always by choice.
Let us remember them when we visit the creche to adore the Divine Infant Jesus.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


  1. Merry Christmas Terry!

  2. michael7:29 PM

    From one hermit to another on this Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas and God's peace!

  3. Merry Christmas to you both, Rhapsody and Michael!

  4. THE

    It is the morn
    Of Christmas Eve,
    Patties of pork I cook.

    Advent, Sunday,
    Fourth and last
    All fasting, now, forsook.

    The birds outside
    Are singing carols
    Pitched soprano-high.

    Above the frost
    Below the blue,
    Their midnight moment nigh.

    Then beasts will speak
    In whispers low,
    When Emmanuel did come,

    How they could talk
    And pray an hour...
    While man was struck quite dumb.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Great minds think alike, Terry!

    The following excerpt is from CBC News [Last Updated: Sunday, December 24, 2006 / 9:08 PM ET]:

    Pope Benedict XVI urged the world to consider children who are abused, hungry, forced to beg and unloved as he presided over Christmas midnight mass at St. Peter's Basilica early Monday at the Vatican.

    "The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze toward all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn," Pope Benedict said in his homily.

    He began the Midnight Mass, broadcast to 44 nations, with a wish for peace in Latin: "Pax vobis" ("Peace be with you").

    The Pope said that by celebrating the birth of Jesus, people should also think about children serving "as soldiers in a violent world, toward children who have to beg, toward children who suffer deprivation and hunger, toward children who are unloved."

    "Let us pray this night that the brightness of God's love may enfold all these children," he said. "Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected."


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