It's A Wonderful Life
The perfect joy of the imperfect Christmas.
Didn't 'feel' like Christmas? Disappointed about something? Someone? Hopes dashed? Feeling lonely and abandoned? Christmas has lost it's charm? It's glow? It wasn't like it used to be? It didn't turn out the way you expected? Your prayers weren't answered?
Therein lies the 'grace of Christmas' spiritual people like to talk about so much but often miss when it comes their way. St. Francis of Assisi thought of such adverse experiences as 'perfect joy'.
The example of St. Therese comes to mind as well. Her famous 'Christmas conversion' experience reveals the hidden joy in one's hopes being disappointed. It seems a trivial thing; a fourteen year old girl feeling reprimanded by a comment overheard from her father, about not having to fill her shoes with gifts any longer since she was beyond the age children would expect such things. Nevertheless, Therese was the 'baby' and was treated as such - and the shoes were filled. Her sister Celine expected tears - Therese expected disappointment, but instead, she returned downstairs and acted as if she had not heard her father's complaint. She went to the hearth to find the little gifts in her shoes, and rejoiced so as not to disappoint her father. Therese later remarked on the effects of her experience, saying: "My heart was filled with charity. I forgot myself to please others and, in doing so, became happy myself."
Then have yourself a merry 'little' Christmas, and thank God for his gift of 'perfect joy'!
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Still sad? Go to a movie maybe - go see
The Interview - that's Christmassy.
Song for this post here.