Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of Month Date, 2003
Have a happy and holy Christmas
Light One Candle
By MSGR. JIM LISANTE
I love Christmas and it always bothers me when I hear people say just the opposite, "I hate Christmas!" Not just the Scrooges who seem to "Bah! Humbug!" everything that other people cherish, but the busy, exasperated folks who are at their wits' end rushing around getting ready for Dec. 25.
Decorate the house, write cards, buy presents, attend parties, prepare food, throw parties, buy and wrap some more presents. And don't forget to go to church. No wonder so many people drive themselves crazy showing their Christmas spirit.
Too many of us enter this annual race that increases stress, empties pockets and ends with a yearning just to make it to New Year's Day.
Yet Christmas brings so many memories and even more expectations that any call I would make for moderation would probably go unheeded. Maybe it's because we have this strange urge to pursue a "perfect Christmas."
We want our loved ones, especially children, to get everything they want; to feel, if only for a day, complete happiness. And, yes, we want that perfection for ourselves, too.
Of course, we human beings don't really have a knack for perfection. But we're blessed because God does. And God has already provided the perfect Christmas.
All we have to do is give it the time and attention to make it our own. There's a beautiful carol that asks - and answers - the one truly important question we need to consider:
What child is this, who, laid to rest
The only reason to celebrate Christmas is because Mary, the first Christ-bearer, held within her body and then in her arms, the Son of God.
If the birth of Jesus has shaken your soul to its foundations as it has our universe, you are already part of that perfect Christmas.
I believe that the essence of Christmas is not about doing or having, it is about being - being a Christ-bearer. That invitation went out more than 2,000 years ago, and is still being answered today.
If you welcome the Divine Presence within you and carry that presence for all the world to know, you are a Christ-bearer. If you allow God's faith, hope and love to become part of yourself, not just for your own well-being, but for the good of everyone you meet, you are a Christ-bearer.
People being people, you may still find yourself rushing to the store for a last minute gift, or trying to keep the relatives who don't speak to each other away from each other during a holiday party. But if you open yourself to God, when someone asks later how your Christmas was, you may be able to honestly answer: "Perfect!"
(For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, Being a Good Neighbour, write: The Christophers, 12 East 48 St., New York, NY, 10017; or e-mail: email@example.com.)
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.