Thoughts for Christmas
We are approaching the fourth week of Advent faster than you can say “O Antiphon”—and after that, Christmas. This time of year is bringing a lot of mixed emotions for many who are suffering from global economic woes. The national business atmosphere is admittedly tense. One day, you might feel like things are starting to get better. The next day, you feel like maintaining a sense of business optimism is a fool’s dream. Footing is shaky—we’re all moving forward as best we can, with as much confidence as possible.
However, let me bring some inspirational observations from my own business community in Manassas, Virginia. These are things that I thank God for, and which are an inspiration to me.
First, I thank God for the kindness of others. Local business leaders have rallied around to try to help one another create new business. They have also dipped into their pockets, admittedly leaner these days, to help the less fortunate. I have encountered some very giving people, and I am grateful for their acquaintanceship and their example.
Second, I thank God for children. Here’s how this makes sense in the business community—my impression is that the difficult economy is forcing people to reconsider their priorities. The result is a stronger focus on family. I see businessmen having their perspective and joy restored through refocusing on the gift of their children. This is a great blessing!
Third, I thank God for the mailman. We have a great mailman named John—he always brings a smile and a kind word. This is important—he’s the most frequent visitor to our office! Even though he is only here about 30-60 seconds a day, he makes an impact. Thanks, John. At our old office (we moved in April) we had a similar experience with our UPS deliveryman—God bless you, Steve. Sorry we don’t see you anymore!
Fourth, I thank God for my staff. You would have a lot of trouble finding better people than those I work with! I’m not a perfect person, and the admiration I have for them means that I feel keenly when I haven’t dealt with something in the best possible way. They keep my on my toes. Thanks, guys!
There are so many other things to be thankful for: the kindness of the office building engineer, the good will of fellow tenants in the building, the generosity of local restaurants and shops, and the kind word at the auto body shop. Everything matters.
But most of all, I am thankful for people that soldier on (whatever their troubles), look you right in the eyes, and say “Merry Christmas!” with a bright smile. I hope that each person who bestows this greeting, including myself, recognizes that to wish someone the joy of Christmas is to wish a great blessing upon them.
Come, Lord Jesus! And Merry Christmas to all who read this message! May God bless you always.
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Posted by: mechteld -
Sep. 26, 2019 12:16 PM ET USA
Yes! If there was no USCCB as such, more bishops could focus on the local Church in crisis, rather than have a larger buffer at a "national" level. As is, the USCCB is a complete waste of resources, IMHO.
Posted by: feedback -
Sep. 26, 2019 12:35 AM ET USA
Those "ministries" are all buffer zones to keep the hoity toity from the hoi polloi, while creating impression that something of great importance is going on.
Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 -
Sep. 25, 2019 2:59 PM ET USA
If the church lost ALL support staff they would quickly focus on the spiritual essentials or resign and get a job. There would be no sex scandals because they would be to busy. Remember the old saying? Idle hands are the Devil's playground.
Posted by: fenton1015153 -
Sep. 25, 2019 12:41 PM ET USA
To answer your question... YES. We are constantly asked to give to this program or organization but we receive the minimal of a weak homily and next to nothing of catholic support from our Bishop. We are asked to dig deeper to support the education of new priests but I wonder how many good priests we could have if the educational bar was not set so high that only career minded men think of joining. Maybe that explains why the church is being run like an international business. Pray for help
Posted by: garedawg -
Sep. 25, 2019 10:36 AM ET USA
Yeah, and if you live in Germany, don't forget to bring your check from the church tax.
Posted by: Universal -
Dec. 18, 2009 6:21 PM ET USA
So true, Peter! This is the season of giving and receiving and of SEEING how gifted we are. So many things we have - and we do not deserve. So much love and kindness we receive - and we do not deserve... We should really take time and say a big THANK YOU to our fellow men and to GOD - whose idea it is in the first place. Thank YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS!