Friday, December 25, 2020

8 CHRISTMAS OP-EDS: The Lonely Church This Christmas; Enduring lectures from the failed and the smug, and 6 other Christmas op-eds

The Lonely Church This Christmas:
Returning to Mass in a pandemic Advent.
We keep a Jesse Tree tradition during the month of December, reading little Scriptures and placing ornaments on a bare tree. It’s a way of teaching the children, and reminding ourselves of the big biblical stories in the lead-up to Christmas. My four-year-old son was shocked and thrilled — like he was let in on a secret — when David beheaded Goliath. One night last week, we hung the fiery furnace and told the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When they refused to bow to an idol, King Nebuchadnezzar decided to throw them into the furnace. My daughter started to anticipate that God would save them.
She was right. They were thrown into a fire, but did not burn. The Babylonian king was impressed. So was my daughter. Soon, she demanded that we go back to church. A good request from a child has a way of clarifying things. So for the first time since March, we did just that.
If airlines will fly us packed into a little tube with strangers without spread, then surely we, acting cautiously and according to the regulations of state and church, could do this safely. We had avoided going partly because the system of reservations that our parish instituted seemed to suggest that by asking to come to Mass you would, by necessity, deny the chance to others.
We shouldn’t have been so passive. Our parish church normally has a seating capacity of 800. When the five of us arrived and filed into the last pew in the church, the number of worshippers was 32. In the time before COVID, there might have been 32 people serving in the sanctuary alone, a parade of priests, deacons, subdeacons, and row after row after row of altar boys. Several pews were roped-off between us and another worshipper. --->READ THE REST HERE
Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP
Enduring lectures from the failed and the smug:
Dr. Fauci takes aim at the 'American spirit' by way of trying to control population during pandemic
There are some people who don’t want you to have a Merry Christmas. They tell you it’s because they want you to stay “safe” from COVID-19. These people are bureaucrats and politicians whom, as the last 10 months have shown us, have no idea what they’re doing but they keep doing it anyway. They simply don’t want to let a good crisis go to waste.
Throughout the last 10 months of lockdowns, mask-wearing and social distancing, there has been more and more evidence that those conditioning us to live in fear and telling us they have the answers in fact have something else: an interest in controlling the population. Conditioning us is easier when fear is the motivating factor.
Look at California — the epicenter of lockdowns, mask-wearing indoors and outside, and draconian bans on gatherings of all sorts. Now the Golden State is the “Rona State.” They’re still an epicenter, but of a new surge of the virus. Compare this to Florida and South Dakota which implemented reasonable restrictions, refused to lockdown and encouraged people to take precautions whenever possible. Those states are faring better than sunny California, not just regarding the virus, but economically as well. Even the World Health Organization declared in October that lockdowns are not the answer. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to more op-eds:

In ‘The Year Of Saint Joseph’ We Can All Learn From His Humble Example

Hope, Family, Warm Traditions, And Our Redeemer: The Meaning Of Christmas In Our Hardest Years

The Power of Christmas

A 'what if' Christmas in America

Christ's birth is much bigger than our everyday problems

Christmas Eve on West Main St. in Johnstown N.Y, Circa 1962

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