I'm terrible at holiday posts, so I turn to America's greatest Catholic preacher since Fulton Sheen: The blessed and joyous time of Christmas is here again. So, I’ll just take the opportunity to thank all of our viewing and listening family for allowing us into your homes. I don’t take that for granted. I am honestly grateful to you for allowing us to serve you in that way.
As I look out the windows of my home in Montana it sure is “beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” We have about a foot of snow and it’s been below zero for about ten days. Two of my dogs are under my desk with their heads resting on my feet--looking like those big fuzzy slippers that little kids sometimes wear.
Christmas is, of course, the best time to recall that Jesus, the Son of God, in fact was born in a poor stable or cave on a cold night—“for us men, and for our salvation.” Amidst the escalating uncertainty and chaos of the modern world we must sit still for a moment and remember what really matters.
In recent years major corporations have been vaporized in the twinkling of an eye. It’s a sign of the times, but recall that what really matters is that it was the twinkling of a star that led shepherds and wise men to the One who is the Light of the world.
In recent years the biggest accounting firm in the world ceased to be over night. They don’t account for anything today, but it honestly doesn’t matter. What really matters is that on a cold night two millennia ago the God who loves us was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger by the Mother who loves Him.
In recent years the unthinkable has happened--major banks and financial institutions have ceased to be. That doesn’t matter either because the truly unthinkable happened on the first Christmas Eve long ago when the God who always was and will never cease to be came to show us the depth and breadth of His love.
In recent years I have been accused of being a “prophet of doom, and a pessimist.” I can understand this criticism, but it really isn’t true. I am a realist, and as a priest and Catholic/Christian of necessity must share in the prophetic dimension of Christ. The United States, and the entire world for the most part, is in many ways precipitating its own demise. That matters, and we must do all we can to “fight the good fight,” but what truly matters is the state of your soul and mine because in the end that will determine how we live forever, and compared to that nothing else really matters.
Things may go from bad to worse. It may well go from uncomfortable to dangerous to live your Catholic/Christian faith in a world unraveling rapidly due to one bad moral choice after the other. Remember that it will not be the first time if Christians are persecuted, even imprisoned and executed. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” The Western world is too fat and lazy, in the secular order and even in the religious. Perhaps a jolly good persecution may be what it takes for people to decide to live their faith, rather than go along with what they know to be a sick society.
In any event, don’t let it get you down. Whatever happens, stay close to Jesus and Mary. Remember that our God is not against you. He is for you, and He will be with you through all of the ups and downs of life. He will be with you in sickness and in health; in good times and in bad; and when death comes knocking at your door He will be there to comfort you and lead you safely home. Having fought the good fight and run the race to the finish line, you will surely hear those beautiful words:
“WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT! NOW AT LAST ENTER INTO THE JOY OF YOUR MASTER’S HOUSE.”
A most blessed and merry Christmas and a holy, happy, and healthy New Year to each and all of you!
Fr. John Corapi