Monday, December 22, 2014
It struck me this morning that there are only three days left until Christmas. Most of my Christmas cards are already mailed. I actually found some moments to breathe and reflect. What can I do to celebrate the best Christmas ever, to make sure that I welcome Jesus better than I ever have before? My mission as a Daughter of St. Paul is to evangelize through the media. Through our book fairs at parish weekend Masses, through our website and digital newsletters, in our book center, and through our phone calls the message of Jesus is touching many hearts this Christmas. At our morning Mass, and during our daily Eucharistic adoration, we Sisters pray for everyone who is touched by a Pauline edition be it a broadcast on TV or radio, a book, lyrics of our music, a DVD, or even a religious gift item such as a Miraculous Medal or a crucifix, or a handmade rosary. In our book centers and at book displays, people confide their needs to us so that we may pray for them. At our Dedham, Massachusetts Pauline Book and Media Center on Saturday a grieving father confided his sorrow to me. His son Brendan died of a heroin overdose. I was touched because I knew of another Brendan, who died last year from heroin addiction. Both of these young men left parents and brothers and sisters who loved them dearly. I pray for the victims of heroin, as well as for the families who in their lose experience deep suffering and grief. When I meet people face-to-face in our Centers, or when I speak with them on the phone, then suffering has a face, or at least a voice. It is hard not to be moved to compassion when I learn of their sorrows. May Jesus who came to take all the sins of the world on his shoulders, console these families. May Christmas bring them hope in the mercy of our God who came to save each one of us. May they experience the peace that comes from being rooted in faith, hope and love of God and of their neighbor. I pray for a friend named Mary Ann in her early 60's, who died yesterday morning from a brain tumor. She had been a career Navy officer. In her retirement she was very active in her parish in Alexandria, Virginia. She attended Mass every day that she was able to drive. When she was in remission, she often visited our Pauline Book & Media Center in Old Town Alexandria. Her passing saddens us who knew her and enjoyed her cheerful company. Yet, I am happy that her Advent, her time of waiting for the Lord's arrival, is now over. The Lord came to bring her into the eternal banquet, the eternal celebration of everlasting life. As St. Paul said in Romans 8:28, "For those who love God, all things work together for the good." Only God can bring good out of evil. May those suffering from armed conflicts be delivered soon from danger. May those who perpetrate violence, hatred and war turn from evil and do good. In case you have young people in your family (kinder to about 3rd grade), you may want to get a copy of our newest DVD, "From Saint to Santa", the Story of St. Nicholas. It is a delightful presentation with kids from the Boston area. For more information visit our website: www.pauline.org. Good reading, especially the Bible, the writings of the Saints, and the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis help us to "put on the mind of Christ." May you find time in this Christmas season to withdraw from the noise and let God speak to your mind and heart through a good book or an inspirational movie. Have a blessed Christmas!