Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas is Not Too Good to be True

It might seem that way, but Pope Benedict XVI said it is not too good to be true.

In his general audience speech the other day, he made a few other comments I though offer great perspective on Christmas.

The Pontiff noted that Christmas -- as the "encounter with a newborn who cries in a miserable cave" -- can lead us to think of so many children who live in poverty, of infants who are rejected, and of families "who desire the joy of a child and do not see this hope fulfilled."

The birth of our Lord makes for a very beautiful story. The fact that the King of Kings was born in a stable rather than a castle reinforces everything Jesus stands for. But in reality, the Pope is right. Crying baby + miserable cave is not very storybook is it?

And Christmas, he said, "runs the risk of losing its spiritual significance to be reduced to a mere commercial occasion to buy and exchange gifts."

I think this one speaks for itself. It is so easy to get lost in everything worldly Christmas stands for. The presents, the beautiful decorations, the parties. But as Catholics, we must always keep Christ at the center of Christmas.

"Let us," he concluded, "ask most holy Mary, the tabernacle of the incarnate Word, and St. Joseph, silent witness to the events of salvation, to communicate to us the sentiments they had while they awaited the birth of Jesus, so that we can prepare ourselves to celebrate in a holy way the coming Christmas, in the joy of faith and enlivened by the determination of a sincere conversion."

We should all pray for this perspective as we get closer to Christmas.

Mary and Joseph, please help us prepare our hearts as you did.

God Bless.

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