Thanking God for the Purpose of The Season

| December 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

Now that Christmas and the holiday season are upon us, I know that people in our world are having different reactions and experiences with what they should feel and believe. 

Though I am Catholic and have been since birth, I would be naïve to think that others understand how this season feels to me. Fortunately, I was raised by two very kind and caring parents who believed that religion should be a very important part of my life.

Because of them, it has been, but not without challenges. 

All of us who are Catholics know that the church has had a history not reflective of what the religion represents, not what God intended. Unfortunately, this is a flaw of humankind. We are imperfect and make mistakes, some more damaging than others.

However, it doesn’t negate the benefits and purpose of religion, to help influence us with acts of kindness, generosity, forgiveness and respect for each other and life.

Without these influences, I can only guess how different my existance might have been.

Every day I am reminded of how I should live my life.  Even at times when I find others to be totally intolerable, I am reminded to stop and think before reacting.  I am reminded that there are many ways to respond, and with varying results.  Sometimes, not reacting, just listening, is the best action.

Would I have known this without my religion?  I truly doubt it. 

Because even with positive influences in my life, there are times when I have to ask for guidance to make sense of my existance and people in my life.  My religion has provided me with this knowledge and this resource. 

At a recent mass at the Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town, Bishop Dolan spoke about people who have given up on the world because they have no religion.  What he said immediately “spoke to me.” 

I worry about those who have given up on themselves and taken their own and other people’s lives.  My impression is, they truly don’t feel the purpose of life and their role in the universe.  My impression is that they are only existing in this world.  All I can think is, what a horrible place that must be.

As I speak about my religion, I want to be clear that I am not discouraging other religions.  My friends who are Jewish, Baptist, Episcopal, Mormon, and other faiths, have similar feelings about their religions. 

And, for that, we are fortunate. 

For me, my parents were the initial reason and influence that introduced me to Catholicism.  Others I know have sought out a religion that they could connect with.

Whatever the course of action, be assured that once you’ve made the decision to join a religious community, your life is changed forever.  And, the purpose of the season is deeply meaningful.

To all of you during this very special season of the year, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays.

Bishop Dolan will be the celebrant at both Christmas Eve Masses at the Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town San Diego, located at 2540 San Diego Avenue. Christmas Eve Masses: 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Christmas Day Masses: 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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