A cold heart. A cold greeting. A cold breeze. A cold grave. And a cold shoulder.
What at day. Even priests and other faithful followers of Jesus are not immune.
I try not to let "it" get me down. I'm not always very successful. So I have a trace of the holiday blues. Notice that I did not say Christmas blues. The holidays can be downright depressing as we witness so many people becoming frantic: cookies to bake, gifts to buy, house to decorate, parties to attend and host, work that won't wait until after the holidays... It is the plague of modern life, this holiday season. And the whole time the radios blare out the insipid music we call Christmas Songs and holiday music. What once proclaimed the birth of our Savior, now glorifies infidelity as it rocks and rolls over souls numbed by consumerism and passion.
It makes me long and nearly mourn for a return to a time when no one cared about holidays. After all, it didn't matter what the day, the cows still had to be milked, meals prepared and the fire stoked. What mattered was the Holy Day. A holiday is a supposed break from the daily grind. A Holy Day is entering into the very meaning of that same grind. Holy it is to care for our family and our homes when they are domestic churches rather than temples of pleasure and leisure. Holy it is to gift someone with our caring presence rather than useless presents. Holy it is to offer a word of encouragement, a prayer for peace and a reason for hope. Holy it is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the lonely and imprisoned. Holy it is to raise our voices together in worship of God at Holy Mass.
So in this cold season of cold shoulders and cold breezes I want to offer a warm word of hope. Even as the wind brings winter storms, it is soon to bring the spring thaw. Even as we mourn the losses of this life, we are steadfastly inching toward that time when there is no mourning, no tears and no loss. Even as I wrap my arms around my chilled body, the Lord and His Blessed Mother wrap their arms around me.
Glad Tidings in this Holy Season.