Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Christmas Letter

This is the note I sent out with my Christmas cards this year:
                                                                                                                   Christmas, 2016
Dear Friends and Relatives:
Next month I will be celebrating the 41st anniversary of my 29th birthday (I stopped celebrating birthdays a long time ago).  God has blessed my time here, and He and I have become greater friends over the years.  I always find time to talk to Him each day, and greatly benefit from reading books such as The Better Part, gospel meditations which help me see God’s purpose for me, and how I can make a mark in this world.  Meanwhile, He pleases me greatly with the beautiful people He has brought into my life, especially those who are an example for me, of how to make a difference.
My friend A. cared for her ill mom but still finds time to cook and serve food in a park to feed a hot meal for up to 200 souls each Wednesday night --- including last Wednesday, when temps were in single digits here.  MB finds time to visit the dying, to pray with them, or just hold their hand.  AW spends every Saturday morning in front of an abortion clinic asking women: “What can I do so you don’t go in there?”  She has saved over 400 babies over the years.  D. is director of the organization caring for 90 developmentally disabled, and she knows each of them and their families as friends.  N. is a local school teacher, who also runs a charity to support poor kids in Africa, whom she often visits --- all on her own dime.  And C. is a young man who even as I write this is helping in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon; he thinks this might be his life’s work.
These are just some of the wonderful people God has put in my life.  I know and support many more.  And you.  May you have a Blessed Holiday, find some time for peace in these hectic days, and then in 2017 find time to make a difference in this world.  I’ve seen what one person can do, whether young or old, rich or poor.  All it takes is a will to do something; God takes care of the rest.
- - - - - - - - - -
Each Sunday morning I light a small candle at the foot of the statue of Mary in church.  I pray to Mary that she would intercede for me: that I might be a small light in this world, and that others might see not me, but the light of Christ, and perhaps set the world on fire.
Thinking again the thoughts expressed in my (above) Christmas letter, perhaps my Sunday prayer should change.  I pray that somehow the Lord would use me to, perhaps, somehow influence those around me.  Looking at the great many good --- and even holy --- people God has put in my life, perhaps it is I who should be influenced.  It is I who need to be more set afire.
Merry Christmas!  And may He be born again in this world, and the fire of His love grow, in every person we meet.

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