I Can’t Believe It’s Already Christmas!

Where did the year go?!

So many people have shared that sentiment with me in recent days.  But this year I knew.  I knew once the kids started school that the year was done – just turn around and blink and it would be Christmas.  It wasn’t going to sneak up on me this year – and yet it did.  As it always does.  You can be going along praying the 2nd Joyful Mystery, and you think to yourself, “Okay, now for the 3rd ,” and your heart leaps because the sudden joy of Christmas has snuck up on you once again.

Christmas, where time opens to eternity and our world is invaded by its own Maker, seems always to do something odd to our sense of time.  St. Augustine was the philosopher who gave the great psychological account of time – that ungraspable present constantly passing into past. Past existing in our minds as memory, the future as expectation, and the present: the merest fleeting experience of now, now, now.

Christmas changes that – changes our psychology of time.  We are slingshot through Advent – pulled back and back and back through the ages to the very beginning of the beginning, where light was let to be, and man was let to be made and the very good world was crippled.  We recapitulate the long longing ages of expectation. Anticipating what we already remember, we hear the promise whose very fulfillment has brought us to listen – to heed, to repent. And then we are arrested, by the now that never really becomes past, by the eternal moment of the Incarnation.

We stop before a stable; we peer in – dare we enter? No.  But see, the Lady beckons, and so tentative, shy, we go forward.  ”Behold,” she bids us, and emboldened, we do. And adore.

Yes, the year has flown, but we Catholics will linger over Christmas well into January.  It is one of the gifts of our faith – a real Advent and a real Christmas Season. Speaking of gifts, we at Catholic Exchange would like to take this opportunity to tell all of you, our readers and our writers, what a gift you are to us.

We pray that all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy a real Catholic Christmas Season – it will be over before you know it. Just turn around and blink and we will be in December 2010 and saying, “I can’t believe it’s already Christmas!”

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  • Claire

    So true! Merry Christmas!

  • http://catholichawk.com PrairieHawk

    Jesus came “in the fullness of time.” Something about that phrase has always struck me. We moderns naturally would think that today, with all its cars, jets, cell phones, and the Internet, would be “the fullness of time.” Yet it’s not, today we’re in the “end times,” which sounds almost like a period of post-history. Have the great events of the human story already occurred, and we’re just winding down to the conclusion?

    When Jesus came in the fullness of time, people still got around on horses, emperors ruled the world, society was agrarian, and a tyrant king could order the massacre of hundreds of innocent boys with the plan of killing the future Messiah. Yet there was advanced philosophy, thanks to the Greeks, the emperor had built roads (roads for evangelizing Apostles) throughout the civilized world, and the Jewish faith had developed to the point that the expectation of a Messiah was imminent.

    The fullness of time? Maybe not what we would have expected, but this evidently was what God had in mind. It’s a lesson for us to take home: when we think we know what’s going to happen next, we probably don’t. I myself am always being surprised by our Lord. I think, in His love for us, maybe that’s for a reason too.

    Merry Christmas to all my friends at Catholic Exchange.

    In Christ,
    Anthony

  • noelfitz

    Mary,

    Many thanks for this Christmas message.

    I wish you and your family, and all participants here, a very happy Christmas and hope that 2010 will be a good year for us all.

    2009 has been difficult for many, who have lost family, friends, jobs, houses, health or faith in a difficult year. I think of those who do not celebrate Christmas with loved ones, whether they are overseas in dangerous conditions or away from their families for other reasons.

    I am very grateful to you for your charity and understanding throughout the year. Not everyone agreed with some of the posts I submitted, but you allowed them to be displayed. You disagreed with some of my views robustly and clearly, but you never attacked me personally or called my commitment to the Church into question. As editor you were fair and allowed various opinions to be expressed. I appreciate this.

    So thank you, Mary, and have a good Christmas and I hope 2010 will be great for us all and the Church.

  • http://www.harvestingthefruit.com Louie Verrecchio

    Thank you for your tireless efforts, Mary.

    May the Prince of Peace bless you and yours richly this Christmas seaons and in the year to come!

    Louie Verrecchio

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