"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One more day ... Then ... The Birth of Our Lord.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Cripples.

Even before the gifts and the friends and family get together, one may be able to sense the pre-Christmas traditions wearing thin.  Therefore it makes sense to me that the Holy Father encouraged Vatican lay workers to avoid making Christmas "a feast of commercial consumerism, of appearances or useless gifts... that it might be the feast of the joy of welcoming the Lord in the crib and our hearts."
"This is the real Christmas," Francis said, "the feast of the poverty of God who made himself into nothing, taking the nature of a slave; of God who places himself to serve at table; of God who hides himself from the intelligent and the wise and reveals himself to the small, the simple and the poor; of the 'Son of man who didn't come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.'" - Source
This is the real focus of pre-Christmas, what we prepare for throughout Advent.  This is the cause of our joy.  When Christmas arrives, all of the decorating and traditions can finally be put in perspective, the sentimentality and artificial emotional expectations diminished, they too can fade into the background - because nothing compares to Jesus.

I can rejoice in the measure I feel my poverty, my insignificance, my lack of accomplishment, my loneliness, my lack of merit, even my outcast state ... because Jesus is born in abject poverty, a helpless infant, with no place to lay his head, but in a manger.  And heaven and earth rejoice.

Merry Christmas!  If you are depressed and disappointed - Merry Christmas!  You share the lot of the saints in light.  You are very close to the Infant Jesus.

The Census at Bethlehem, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

10 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas, Ter!

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  2. We've been in full-blown Christmas mode for at least three weeks since our three year-old girl runs the house. It's been great fun, and young children really bring out the joy of Christmas. But spiritually, it's been more tough, and it's clear to me that God really wants Advent to be treated as a little Lent. I seem to have to re-learn this lesson every year.

    Merry Christmas Terry.

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    1. Merry Christmas Scott - you are so blessed to have the 3 year old in charge! That joy - may it encompass you and your family.

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  3. A Most Merry Christmas Terry ! to you and your beloved Gabby.
    I have tomorrow off, as I will be going to midnight Mass at a beautiful church. ".....rejoice in the measures..." yes, I will rejoice in these measures, all of them. Much as I try to prepare, I always end up having a ptsd Christmas: but did not see it as a little Lent - which it is, isn't it ?
    O's to all.
    Lou
    ( I was told recently that O's now mean oxycodone, not hugs, but in this instance, I mean: a warm embracing hug: much as Some of us may at moments wish Santa could bring a little of the other....)

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    1. LOL! Ask the little Jesus for his O's - they are even better! Just think of how many people you have made happy by what you do every day! I'm happy you have Christmas off. Enjoy!

      Merry Christmas!

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  4. Merry Christmas, Terry. The older I get the more I feel this way.

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    1. Imagine how I'll feel when I get to be your age. What?

      Merry Christmas my bestest friend!

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  5. Merry Christmas Terry and all! I love how Pope Francis talks about how God *choose* to be poor, weak, isolated, and feel all those messy human emotions and feel human pain! Truly a gift.

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    1. Merry Christmas Mack - thanks for lighting up my blog with your humor and honesty!

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