Tag Archives: Christmas

When you’re desperate enough

How desperate do you feel? Thoreau believed most people “lead lives of quiet desperation” (Walden, “Economy”), not the frantic desperation of someone who’s in imminent danger, but the subtler kind, the low-level anxiety that slowly eats away at us. We may pretend it doesn’t exist, but once in a while it bubbles up and lets […]

On keeping Christmas

Now is not the time to let down your guard. The Grinch who stole into town on Christmas Eve to steal Christmas was not the real threat. He was only a diversion. And he turned out to be a pretty ineffective one. It’s the other Grinch who is the real threat. You’ll remember that the […]

The growing edge

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a great time for reviewing and appraising the ending year in preparation for the new year that’s set to begin, and for many years I’ve used it for just that. Clearing my desktop, purging files and lists, and preparing a fresh journal have been the heart […]

The post-holiday low

As heart warming as Christmas can be, the days after can leave the heart low and empty for many. The season leading up to Christmas invites us to be attentive for the advent of some new manifestation of the divine mystery in the coming of light. The season after Christmas invites us, perhaps even urges […]

As Christmas approaches

What if the Chinese are the first to have meaningful contact with extraterrestrial life? That’s the question raised in an editorial I read recently. In the editorial, “first” meant “before the U.S.,” and the writer addressed economic and national defense concerns. His article reminded me of the classic spiritual adage – offered, I think, half […]

The reason for the season

There’s talk these days about a war on Christmas, and some of the most notable combatants include Pope Francis and president-elect Donald Trump. The pope deserves our serious attention; he’s earned it by lucidly restating the essence of the life and teachings of Jesus in today’s idiom. Trump, on the other hand, judging from everything […]

Look again

It’s an old question, as old as the human story. When will God visit this world, this middle ground between heaven and hell, to grant our ancient yearning and set things right? How long will the earth yield thorns and thistles for all our hard work; how long will we have to till the ground […]

Are you the one?

The promise of Christmas is that the desert shall bloom and rejoice, and a highway shall be there, a road that leads all nations to God (Isa. 35:1, 8; 2:2). But what happens when the desert doesn’t bloom? What happens when instead of rejoicing we hear the din of destruction, the weeping of despair and […]

Hope rising

Every year I complain about the season’s rush toward Christmas with its apparently irresistible and irreversible consumerism. Every year I hold out hope that the true meaning of Advent might dominate the headlines and our calendars, or at least dominate my attention. And every year hectic preparation bullies aside the opportunity to appreciate “how silently, […]

So this is Christmas

“So this is Christmas.” John Lennon’s words have been ringing in my head since I awoke on this Christmas Day in 2015. Today I want to make the phrase a question – So this is Christmas? – like Peggy Lee’s “Is that all there is?” except I don’t feel that cynical. During my morning walk […]