I was invited to a friend's place this year to spend Christmas with him and his family in Chicago, but due to some mix-ups with my employer I wound up home in Pennsylvania instead late last night Just as well since I am sick with bronchitis, which I believe is contagious. The fact that it's contagious means I won't be going to the priests retirement center in our diocese to find an old retiree to hear my confession and grant me absolution. They're about the only ones available after the 23rd, but the older guys don't handle bronchitis well. That means no Communion. But I can't really go to church knowing I'm sick and risk giving my illness to someone else, because old ladies and small children don't handle bronchitis well, either. And this also makes doing volunteer work, ie, serving food for homeless people in a soup kitchen, out of the question.
So what am I doing for Christmas this year? I could still do a number of things. There are all those Clint Eastwood movies I could watch, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Hogan's Heros reruns. Perhaps a CSI marathon! Or I could sit and stare at my Christmas tree and wonder..."why me?"
Nope. I'll spend much of it staying focused on God and praying Liturgy of the Hours. Here's the Hymn from today's Vespers:
Unto us a child is given,Christ out Savior bring release;Counselor, Eternal Father,God made man, and Prince of Peace.
Born of Mary, gentle virgin,By the Spirit of the Lord;From eternal ages spoken:This the mighty Father's Word.
Love and truth in him shall flower,From his strength their vigor take.Branches that are bare shall blossom;Joy that slept begins to wake.
Praise the everlasting Father,and the Lord, his only Son;Praise them with the Holy Spirit,Perfect Trinity in One.
Although being by yourself at Christmas isn't as much fun as having friends and family around helping you celebrate, you are never really alone at Christmas when you have God in your life.