“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (love). Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God (love). Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:5. Those of us who work for peace have no better exemplar than the human Jesus who dedicated his life to bringing peace, hope and universal love to the world. Our challenge this season is to walk in his shoes, to truly love each other and extend an open hand to those who have no place at the inn.
Our faith welcomes those who have no shelter, no cheer; those who grieve this time of year or celebrate the bounty of love this holiday represents. The Christmas story is about a new beginning, a rebirth of hope, joy and glad tidings. I want to share some quotes that reflect that hope, that bring lightness in the nighttime of our souls.
• I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens
• Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid
• Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ~Washington Irving.
• This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone. ~Taylor Caldwell
• I do like Christmas on the whole…. In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year. ~E.M. Forster
• May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace, the gladness of Christmas give you hope, the warmth of Christmas grant you love. ~Author Unknown
Whatever your faith, religion and belief system this is the time to rejoice in the: the miracle of the unexpected light of Hanukkah, the Joy of the Indian festival Diwali, the holy nature of Christmas centered on the birth of hope and peace and with our pagan friends that brings a primal appreciation of nature. Let us bring these thoughts and their spirit with us into the New Year. May this season be blessed with all that is good in life and may the pain life common to us be healed and our spirit renewed.
With an abiding heart of love, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!