Spirit Daily


Frenzy of Christmas, A Child's Mistake Was A Message Of Love

If we treated each other like we do around this time a year -- if every part of the year we acted as if it were Christmas -- many more of us would get directly into Heaven (that is, if we are in the Christmas spirit!).

In fact, according to mystical theology, how we treat each other, and how much we love God, are the two most basic "criteria" of "judgment."

Perhaps it is more of an "evaluation": We are evaluated on our spiritual growth in the way of love and must remember that materialism often gets in the way of that. Materialism is selfish and creates a crust around our spirits and (so we are told) must be "chipped off" in purgatory.

Wouldn't it be nice if the holy-days went back to being like they once were, and if what we bought was mainly for children (instead of the adults who, these days, have so much that they are virtually impossible to buy for)?

Incredible it is how modern society has turned the time honoring arrival of the Prince of Peace into a Time of Frenzy.

"In today's consumer society, this time of the year unfortunately suffers from a sort of commercial 'pollution' that threatens to alter its real spirit," Pope Benedict XVI told a large crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear his weekly Angelus blessing. 

What a time this is! Luxury cars everywhere -- one new one costing $1.25 million. Homes that go for $5 million (before remodeling). Everyone a fashion prince or princess.

In buying gifts, maybe we have to ask what Jesus would give.

Perhaps modest clothes, healthy food items, holy books, and simple tools, among others. With a smidgeon of humor we might add: choice wine (this home-made).

But really, there is a serious issue here. We live to love and that's what we should do at Christmas.

Love. Love before all. Christ was taken out of Christmas long before they started saying "Happy Holidays" -- and long before the Nativity was barred from public display. He was taken out of Christmas when gift-giving, when frenzy, when sales, replaced love and prayer.

The vast majority of folks will spend more time this Advent and Christmas season in malls than in churches and this has paved the way to what we now see: lawsuits to prevent the word "Christmas," stores that no longer acknowledge the very reason for their sales, and even thefts and desecrations at Nativities!

A little mystical truth there. When we as Christian fail or transgress, we leave the door open to the enemy.

Sometimes, to teach us this, God has to turn things upside down. A great lesson that can be: how the Lord has to turn us on our heads to get our attention.

This e-mail bears witness:

"Last December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations -- extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course,  the true meaning of Christmas.
"My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's 'Winter Pageant.' I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production.
"Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.
"So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.
"Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as 'Christmas,' I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment -- songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.
"So, when my son's class rose to sing, Christmas Love, I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
"Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

"Those in the front row- center stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

"As the class would sing 'C is for Christmas,' a child would hold up the letter C. Then, 'H is for Happy,' and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, 'Christmas Love.'
"The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet girl in the front row holding the letter 'M' upside down -- totally unaware her letter 'M' appeared as a 'W.'
"The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her 'W.'
"Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.
"For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
"'C H R I S T W A S L O V E.'"


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