Saturday, December 24, 2011
A different sort of Christmas
My oldest is celebrating in Afghanistan. He already called after getting out of "Midnight" Mass. It began at 3:30am Afghanistan time which corresponded to midnight in Poland. He is on a Polish base. During Mass, a Polish general in Poland addressed the troops in Afghanistan via a video conference set up. Interesting that he assumed the Polish troops would be at Mass.
My daughter-in-law and granddaughter are in Texas with her parents for Christmas. Our home is so quiet. There are only five of us here--well five people and four dogs. My son's two dogs did not join his wife and daughter in Texas. Normally, my parents would be with us for Christmas. My mother's death this past February has left a gaping hole in the Christmas season. My father was here for Thanksgiving so he stayed in Texas and visited my sister for Christmas this year.
Still, there is joy. I heard my son's voice today so I know he is safe. Miles cannot diminish love so even family members who are not in my home are in my heart. And it is still Christmas with so many familiar sights and sounds--a Christmas tree, cookies, and carols.
Most importantly, there is Mass. We always go to Mass on Christmas Eve, but this year my son drew the 7:30 am Christmas morning Mass as an altar server. So we will go to Mass before we open presents. Another difference this year. I love Christmas Mass. The joy of welcoming our newborn Savior wells up within me. It fills all the niches of sorrow and loss. There is Faith. There is Hope. There is Love.
Wishing each of you a Christmas filled with Faith, Hope, and Love. Know the greatest of these is Love.