No, It’s not what you think. I am not anti-Christmas. I am actually a massive fan of Christmas day and the season that follows. Unfortunately the Christmas season timing in The Church and in the secular world are almost completely misaligned.
Christmas is a time that Pope St John XXIII describes as a period where “mankind is a great, an immense family” it is a time that we can put our differences aside. The truce of of WWI , which allowed soldiers from both sides to cease fire and come together in the middle of no man’s land, to share hot drinks, swap souvenirs, sing songs and also play football with one another. Imagine the carnage that could have happened if either side was off their timing when it came to peering over their trenches, or carelessly running into no man’s land after the truce had ended.
This is kind of what it feels like for Catholics, who pop their headsover the trenches and are immediately hammered with adverts for Christmas savings, displays in shops and Christmas music being played over PA systems as early as late September. The internal struggle that one can have around this time of year is to be sucked in to the Christmas spirit. The liturgical calendar has other plans for us Catholics though, there are multiple major feast days ahead of us and the entire month of November, which is dedicated to praying for the souls of the faithful departed that doesn’t exactly synchronise all that well with the joy of the anticipated birth of Our Lord.
In a time where we are conditioned by the world around us to be impatient, take this time to pray for patience. Fear not, the Lord will provide multiple opportunities to practice temperance and fortitude. The lure of wanting to go mad and start putting up decorations, put up the tree and dust off the old nativity scene will be strong in the next month and a bit as we head into the final quarter of the year.
Instead, write out a list of souls that you want to offer up a Mass for in November and continue to pray your Rosary throughout October.
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