A Time for Understanding

What a time we are in!

Don’t you find it hard to anticipate a happy holiday season with everything that’s going on? I don’t really have to enumerate, but it’s hard not to mention what seem to be unnecessarily quick gunshots from police personnel – what appear as random shootings by many others – one of the ugliest mid-term elections in American political history – and, of course, major challenges confronting the Catholic Church. How is our culture, our civilization as we think we know it, going to be able to survive all of this?

I think about these things a lot. Probably too much. But how can anyone who thinks at all not think of them, with much head-shaking (if not outright banging!) and a feeling of complete powerlessness? What can any of us do? Not much as individuals, I’m sure. But if we band together, we may really be able to accomplish great things. To do that will be hard, and will require new ways of seeing each other: colorblind and open to others’ beliefs. No, we don’t have to live the lives of those others ourselves, but we do have to live our own lives with the understanding that others are different, and the hope that those who are different will be understanding of us – no matter who we are – in the same accepting way.

And this is the time of year to do it!!

Start with Thanksgiving, a holiday for everyone. Whether we feast on turkey or tofurkey, we’re all celebrating that we live here, with more freedom than exists in most of the rest of the world.

And then, come December, those beautiful days of so many beautiful lights – for Christians, on the trees of the season; for Jews, in candle-filled menorahs. Together, we celebrate a Savior’s birth while commemorating the first battle ever fought – and won – for religious freedom. Time to put problems aside and love the season – and each other.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!

And a peace-filled 2019 to follow!

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