Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The "Kneeling Santa" and why I love him

We've all seen "The Kneeling Santa".

Maybe you've got it as an ornament for your Christmas tree, or as a lawn decoration. It has become the calling card of those who want us all to remember that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season", to "Keep Christ in Christmas". And it certainly is that.

Myself, I prefer to think of this idea of Santa and Christ together as a beautiful reminder of how the secular and the sacred can share a special day of generosity and giving and goodwill toward each other. Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, the coming of our Savior into a world that sorely needs it. Many non-Christians or non-practicing Christians don't acknowledge that...AND THAT'S OK. Like it or not, Santa has become an icon in our culture, embodying the spirit of giving and joy and the unbridled happiness of children. Can these ideals not be emnbraced by everyone? The fact that many of us come together, share a meal, gifts, and good cheer is a GOOD THING. Non-Christians are not stealing our holiday (as if anyone could 'take' Christmas from us). They are sharing fellowship and love of their own. Many are celebrating their own festivals of giving; Chanukha, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Yule, the pre-Christian celebration of the coming of the Sun (sound familar?)

And in my opinion, that should be CELEBRATED and EMBRACED by all. Yes, there are politics involved; who can show their display on which public ground. I prefer to leave that to others.

KEEP Christ in Christmas, by all means. But share the love and joy and giving of this holiday with EVERYONE.

Daily Mass Readings
Romans 10:9-18
Psalms 19:8-11
Matthew 4:18-22

Monday, November 28, 2011

I HATE when that happens!

I'd fully intended on getting a good start with the Advent season. Unfortunately, between a busy weekend and a lousy cold, I didn't get to Mass yesterday (ALSO missing the introduction of the new Missal!), didn't get the Advent Wreath out of storage, didn't do a lot of things.

I could get down on myself, and scramble to catch up. But that's not what the Season is about. Advent is about the patient waiting for the Christ Child to come into the world. Scrambling will not make me any more ready to welcome Him. To parahrase a Zen quote I once came across, "The mind is like water; it cannot be made still through any effort. It can only be made still, by being still", or something to that effect. If any of you know the exact quote or source, please let me know!

Embrace the Holy Darkness of Advent. Come, Christ Child!

Memorial of St. Joseph Pignatelli, S.J.
Daily Mass Readings
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Matthew 8:5-11