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Christmas Isn’t Perfect – So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas

December 19, 2014

Most of us have a perfect Christmas in mind. Often it is the creation of Hallmark, Currier & Ives, and various marketers. But none of us will have a perfect Christmas, just a real one.

The First Christmas wasn’t perfect either. In fact, the only way to describe it is to call it a crisis. Mary was pregnant before marriage, a very dangerous thing in those times. Just at the time of birth they were required to travel eighty miles on foot to Bethlehem. There was no room for them in the inn. Joseph must have felt dejected, finding no place for his wife to give birth. Jesus is born in a stinking, dank cave. No sooner is He born than there are threats against His life and the family must flee to Egypt. There goes Joseph’s career and livelihood! Mary and Joseph are separated from family and home, from the support they likely needed.

It probably couldn’t have gone worse. There were surely no chestnuts roasting on an open fire, no roast or turkey, no gentle fallen snow.

Yet it was in that crisis of a Christmas that Jesus was found, not in the Hallmark Christmas. And whatever your Christmas holds this year, that is where He will be found. So Merry Christmas, unless another sort of Christmas awaits you. But find Christ there and it will be CHRISTmass.

This video shows an imperfect Christmas, but a good one nonetheless.

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  1. Feast of the Holy Family | St. John | December 27, 2014
  1. GABRIEL says:

    Dear Monsignore.

    I`ve always considered the stables as “Eden with a roof”.
    And for those who love animals, being born in a stable would be paradise it self.

    So from one “Shepherd of Cats” to another, I would like to share this poem with you, Monsignore.

    It was written in the 8 th century, by an unknown Irish monk.
    It is translated from Gaelic by Robin Flower:

    It is called “Pangur Ban” (Fuller white)

    “I and Pangur Bán, my cat
    ‘Tis a like task we are at;
    Hunting mice is his delight
    Hunting words I sit all night.

    Better far than praise of men
    ‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
    Pangur bears me no ill will,
    He too plies his simple skill.

    ‘Tis a merry thing to see
    At our tasks how glad are we,
    When at home we sit and find
    Entertainment to our mind.

    Oftentimes a mouse will stray
    In the hero Pangur’s way:
    Oftentimes my keen thought set
    Takes a meaning in its net.

    ‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
    Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
    ‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
    All my little wisdom try.

    When a mouse darts from its den,
    O how glad is Pangur then!
    O what gladness do I prove
    When I solve the doubts I love!

    So in peace our tasks we ply,
    Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
    In our arts we find our bliss,
    I have mine and he has his.

    Practice every day has made
    Pangur perfect in his trade;
    I get wisdom day and night
    Turning darkness into light. ”

    Written by an unknown Irish Monk, a student of the monastery of Carinthia in the 8th century,
    on a copy of St Paul’s Epistles.

    Merry Christmas, Monsignore.

  2. Doug Bishop says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Monsignor! After reading your blog, I was immediately taken by your meaning, while wondering just why my Christmas tree seems to defy standing up straight after doing so for at least ten years prior. In the beginning it was a beautiful little creation of plastic and metal that was a joy to decorate in all of its finery, but, now its time is about due. No matter. It’s still green and ready for one more season, even if it won’t be the finest on our block here in the high desert of southwest Idaho. Finding anything green this time of year is always a treat.:)

  3. Don McKeon says:

    Dear Msgr.
    Thanks for giving us a dose of reality. As you know, it is easy to get carried away with the fantasy of Christmas, but your article is a good one to remember in order to stay firmly grounded in Christ. One thing you mentioned though, that I take some exception to is when you say that Joseph and Mary were not “married.” I am aware of the custom at that time, but is it really proper to say they weren’t married? Even though “betrothal” was a first step in the marriage covenant, weren’t they still “legally” married in this eyes of the Law? God bless you and Merry Christmas!

  4. Anne Marie says:

    Thank-you Msgr, God Bless, and Merry Christmas.

    That first Christmas was not easy, even with Joseph walking with Mary riding a donkey, it would still not be all that confortable for her. But go they did. A gentle reminder not to “sugarcoat” Christmas.

  5. jenny says:

    Merry Christmas !

  6. Angela Sue - From Minnesota says:

    I think about a child’s tale this year, I think about the Grinch. His heart grew many times it size that year.
    Why because he realized that it (Christmas) comes without gifts – packages or bows, it comes
    without noise makers or ribbons. It comes without a roast beast…….
    Christmas – Jesus comes … and will come and is coming….. and has come…
    And it doesn’t matter if we have a tree, or lights or the best gift or the best meal or any meal or any gift.
    We can have nothing… we can have no human person around… and yet… Christ Jesus still comes……
    Thanks for your reflection and many blessing from Jesus be upon you all and to you all a “good”
    Christmas!

  7. Mary M. says:

    Thank you yet again for a truly inspirational article, Monsigneur. You always put things in perspective.