Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sigh. The War about the War on Christmas rages on.
Regarding the "War on Christmas"...I do as I please at work. I suppose that if someone does not like the nativity on my desk (at a public school), God will take care of me. Children comment on it, and I share the "Christmas story--the birth of Baby Jesus." Kids love it. God protects me.
A clerk at a craft store recently wished me "happy holidays." I graciously said, "thank you" then added, "I would prefer you wish me Merry Christmas." He then smiled (as if for being given permission) and said, "Merry Christmas!!" I replied with "Merry Christmas! And, God bless you!"
Then a girl collecting for the homeless wished me a "happy holiday" and I responded like I did to the clerk.
My point being, we make it what we want it to be. I DO think it is important for us to point out the reason for the season to everyone we come in contact with. Sadly, we are not surrounded by believers, so anything I can do to share God's love, I do. Let them do to me what they will. Hey, maybe I need that Joan of Arc medal.
When I think of what Saints went through on a daily basis, how can I be a 'fraidy cat?
Peace be with you!
You may want to come down off your high horse long enough to read this post by my lovely friend, Father Zehnle (who is from my home town and might have actually spotted by father throwing empty chocolate malt cups down the sewer on his way home from Zims, thus causing global warming).
Joan of Arc is still available.
Meanwhile, we have bigger fish to fry and lots of questions to answer.
I hear in mass every week how we must be reconciled to each other. I believe this but without sharing any details, how far can this be realistically be taken? Since it is Christmastime, the pressure to do so has again reared its ugly head and truthfully, I really, really don't want to have anything to do with the people in question. Is that a sin? Am I lying when I pray that I forgive those who trespass against me? I feel I do forgive, but I still want them to stay away. Sound advice is needed.
Realistically it can be taken really far. It has to be for the world to reconcile. Jesus took it to Calvary. The early Christians took it to supper for the lions. One of the North American martyrs...I forget which one...could not stand the Native Americans he was sent to save. He despised everything about them and could not tolerate the way they smelled. After being tortured by his captors he was sent home to Rome to recuperate. He insisted on going back to his mission when he got better. Since he was one of the North American martyrs, you know how his story ended.
In light of all of that, Christmas dinner with that big blow hard Uncle Ray doesn't seem so bad.
But I realize that some things that family members to to each other are hard to forgive. Let's take a worst case scenario. Uncle Ray gave your dog to Michael Vick. You have pulled Uncle Ray's name in the family gift exchange.
Give him a spiritual bouquet. Remember those? You make a card listing the prayers you've said for him, drawing a flower on the card for each one. That should make everyone feel better.
No one said forgiveness was easy. And sometimes it really is better to stay away from certain people for the sake of your own soul and theirs.
Step one is to rid yourself of the need for pay back. That's the first big step toward forgiveness. Then pray for the person. You may have to do that all through dinner.
Am I lying when I pray that I forgive those who trespass against me? If you don't want to see them forgiven, yes, you are. Otherwise sometimes it's the best we can muster.
Always try to muster better. You can't expect world peace while you can't have dinner with Uncle Ray at the table. What are you going to do if the two of you are in heaven together? Still going to be holding that grudge. God has forgiven Uncle Ray and there you'll be with your arms folded in the corner. That's not going to work.
We have more questions in the in pile. We'll be back tomorrow!