Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all

A very blessed and joyful Christmas season (Dec. 25-Jan.6 inclusive) to the Christians in Darfur, in Egypt, in India, in Kenya, everywhere they must pray and hope to live through the season, everywhere they must pray for courage to worship Our Lord at His Nativity, everywhere they must pray for those who literally persecute them -- we pray for you too.
Happy Christmas to the babies who await their births not knowing whether they will survive those first months -- the children of parents who are considering aborting them, the children of mothers sick or stressed or too tired, weak and starved to be sure they won't miscarry, the children who were born before they were strong enough and who strain for each breath in a world of tubes and beeping monitors.
Merry Christmas to the children, youth and college students who strive to learn within a system that mushes education and secularization together in a grotesque caricature of pseudoreasoning, those who walk a long tightrope to independence in a time that treats their futures as commodities or problems. Merry Christmas to the girls who fear losing their boyfriends and even their friends if they stand up for their dignity, the boys who fear public humiliation if they take a stand for their intellects, the eight-year-olds who don't understand why they can't have any friends unless they wear clothes that feel wrong.
Christmas blessings to the workers who can't get the day off, never mind a week to fly cross-country even if they could afford it, who pay cab fare to work a day or evening or night with no bus service, who do the work others fear to do for wages sometimes short of survival. Blessings in your long shift and may your relief show up. I know how it feels.
Merry Christmas to those stranded far from all the ones they love, sailors and soldiers, those snowed in in the hills, stranded on peninsulas and islands, washed in where storms shut roads down for days, displaced by hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and fires. Merry Christmas to the homeless, the abused, the trapped, the shackled in slavery, especially the little slaves who cry to God every night to be rescued. To the war-bound, huddled in cellars, wanting only a safe time to rest and sleep. To the victims of stalkers and the second-and-later generations caught in feuds, vendettas and gang warfare, who never wanted such fear and hate in their lives. To the addicted who fear the sickness if they spend their money on food and shelter, who have no invitations because people fear them, may you find health and balance again. To all who are wrongly or falsely clapped into prison, abducted, broken down by the roadside, sick and in the hospital, sick at home and unable to summon a kindly visitor, I ask the Lord to send you comfort this season and this Day.
To the lucky ones, Merry Christmas to us too. And to all a good night.

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