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Yes, Virginia, There Is An Infant…

Dear Virginia,

I am writing to tell you about something that has been on my mind for several weeks. It has bubbled up within me, percolating up and down my brain and saturating my thoughts. Like coffee grounds in a coffeemaker, flowing in and out of my daily life, it strengthened quietly within my inmost soul almost – but not quite – imperceptibly. Somehow, somewhere, something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I tried, but wasn’t sure what it was. That is, until today. Today, it clicked. The idea finally coalesced into something I could grapple with, take apart and analyze.

It has to do with the question you once wrote, “Is there a Santa Claus?” and a movie that was made about that question and its answer. That is why I am writing to you about Christmas. It seems to me, and to a lot of other people also, that something is happening to Christmas.

O Christmas, where did you go? Who or what took you away from us? And when exactly did you leave? How did we not notice it? How did we not miss you?

Perhaps it is because I am a Carmelite Sister who lives a simple and prayerful life of service that I find myself experiencing such a profound emptiness, an absence, an incompleteness; yes, a deep sadness within me as I think more deeply about the way our society is celebrating Christmas. For, you see, wherever I look, there is no Infant. I miss Him so! Truly, I do.

Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire. City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, are dressed in holiday style. We walk in a winter wonderland. Rudolph is still making history and Santa Claus is still coming to town.

But, where is the Infant?

I am writing this letter to assure you and all the other children (and grown-ups, too). Yes, Virginia, there is an Infant. For over two thousand years, each Christmas we have remembered Him, the tiny Baby born in Bethlehem on that first Christmas night. St. Francis of Assisi began our tradition of setting up a crèche, a nativity scene, based on the story of His wondrous birth, that we may keep alive the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a time of joy, of hope, indeed. But that joy doesn’t flow from the tree, Rudolph, or the winter wonderland. They are all secondary, as fun and as good as they truly are.

Yes, Virginia, there is an Infant. He is Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Christmas is HIS birthday. Come, let us adore Him.

4 Comments

  1. Beautiful! The world needs to hear this message! Thank you…and God bless you, Sister Timothy Marie! Happy Advent!

  2. Dear Sister Timothy – my name is Santa Claus; some call me.saint Nicholas. Everywhere I go I see the Infant as we prepare for His Birthday. All lighted up in a manger on people’s lawns; for sale in those big chain stores that we label as too worldly; this same infant in a crib already present. In front of surrounding Protestant Chirches; Radio City Music Hall. In New York city presenting – 3 daily shows – The Nativity of Jesus Christ; people walking our cold and snowy streets singing Angels We Have Heard on High. And on and in catholic churches only purple ribbons and. Not a hint of a manger. Sister, wake up; look around; and see this INFAnt tou want so much. He’ s present already trying to get you to sing “jHappy Birthday”.

  3. AMEN! Well said Sister!

  4. How true. A simple nativity scene and the kindness, love, and mercy that it represents can instantaneously melt hearts and be the solution to literally all the current crises of mankind.

    School and workplace violence, the addictions of drugs, alchohol, and pornography, wars, terrorism, and nuclear threat, and human unhappiness and most mental illnesses – do not need sophisticated plans, strategies, armies, shopping sales, and expense. They need the nativity scene and its effect on the human heart.

    It is a great crime and injustice to human civilization to deny children and the world this seemingly simple but most profoundly stabilizing influence.

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