Sunday, December 14, 2008

Give true gift of Christmas: Forgive others

Some time ago, I wrote a column on the barnacles that cover sunken ships to the extent they obscure entirely that which is covered, so as to render unrecognizable the object that is covered.

I wonder if that is happening with the celebration of Christmas. Christmas has really nothing to do with reindeer, Santas, trees, revelry, drinking parties and the like.

Before we can proceed with engaging in the celebration of the season, we will have to "clean out the attic of our minds" (scrape the barnacles, if you please). We have already done a pretty good job of distorting other holidays, such as Easter, which has nothing to do with bunnies and eggs. We also messed up Hallowed Eve (currently Hallow "een") from the purity of remembering the saints who have passed on to the comical nightmare of Halloween.

Christmas introduces into our lives an element of civility, happiness -- purposes greater than those with which we normally deal. It offers a perspective of life that is somehow transcendent, and we begin to think of all things, and others, before ourselves! It changes people, at least for a season, and sometimes for life.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds speak about ideas -- average minds speak about people!" Christmas not only speaks about the greatness of ideas, but also about events and people.

What is Christmas all about? Basically, it is about forgiveness! The one around whom Christmas is centered brought to us the great gift of forgiveness. That forgiveness is all about being what we were created to be. It is about restoration and hope and wholeness.

Just suppose we began each day with not only accepting the gift of forgiveness for ourselves, but also by giving the gift to others -- for the real or imagined hurts, slights and betrayals. How beautiful our relations would be. We would begin each day to live life like the creator intended us to live. What a way to celebrate Christmas! How much more incredibly beautiful it would be.

Try it. It would be the grandest revolution in the world.

A blessed Christmas to you all.

Joseph S. Donchez
taken from:

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