Sunday, September 9, 2012

Isn't Every Day Supposed to be Christmas?

This is a re-post of December 25, 2009:

The Mystery of Christmas

How does one cope with the mystery of Christmas? It can be the saddest of days for many people. Some are very alone; some feel deserted or neglected. Some are isolated but will go off among the poor who have much fun as they open the Christmas baskets given to them. Perhaps the loneliest person in the world is a man sitting in his own living room surrounded by his family and no one will really speak to him. And he knows it’s his own fault.

The answer on Christmas Day is to give and forgive. Spend the day for others in good works and prayer. Give yourself away, and if there is no one to give yourself to, pray for those you care about, even if they seem not to care about you. Christmas is a day for giving. We should think about it that way from the time we are young until we are very old. A smile and a prayer can be our gifts of the Magi to the Christ Child.

Lord Jesus Christ, let me live for You today and give myself to all I meet, especially those in need. Whatever they need – a smile, a helping hand, a meal, forgiveness – help me to get out of the prison of myself and to follow You, who came from beyond the stars to give Your love away. Amen.

Behold, He Comes – Meditations on the Incarnation, by Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Last week Fr. Groeschel was interviewed by a newspaper.  Questioned about the priest child abuse scandal, he voiced his concerns for those priests who are suffering for their sin, and even offered that some of them may have felt tempted by those they abused, and they gave in to the temptation.  I "think" he opined that perhaps it would be merciful to forgive a one-time sinner, something which might seem worth discussing considering the many accusations made which have not been proven, yet the priests' lives ruined.  I "think" he opined those thoughts because the original interview has been pulled down and cannot be seen.  And despite Fr. Groeschel's mighty works of faith and psychology, many will not forgive him for those words, his opinions, his thoughts --- based on his conversations with those priests.  His un-PC thoughts are not to be forgiven, and his career, like the accused priests he opined might be unjustly accused, has ended. 

Perhaps there is a Godly justice in that: those he cared about, he shall live as.  I will not judge God, nor His plans.

But Bennie wrote that meditation above, and I thought it beautiful when I read and posted it, and I do now.  And I believe the wisdom he spoke:  "Christmas is a day to give and forgive."  For a man who has given so much his whole life, I would forgive much more than a few mis-spoken words.  Perhaps Bennie may now feel alone, forgotten and neglected as the words above suggest, but the man I know probably feels freed of his time commitments, and is out giving baskets to the poor.  He is giving of himself to all those he meets, still.

For him, for me, every day is Christmas.   I wish him well, in all he does, all the days of his life.  He remains one my most admired models.  


  1. This is beautiful. The world is most unforgiving and Fr. Benedict has dealt with it for so many years. And done so, as you say, by giving. often to people he never sees. God bless, Fr. Benedict.

  2. What a sweet gift for your team! And I love your Isn't Every Day Supposed to be Christmas? gift. Cute!
    christmas gifts

  3. Thanks for your concern, and prayers for him. The community sends a monthly acknowledgement for donations, usually canned words about their work. I just received this months: "As you may be aware, Father Benedict is ill and away from Trinity Retreat for the foreseeable future. I know you join with me in praying fervently for his return to good health in body, mind, and spirit."

    I hope that is just a ruse to get him away from the public's eyes for a while.