Winter Needs Christmas

Winter needs Christmas

Christmas brightens winter

Many people are not religious, but they still love Christmas.

Christmas has become more secular, and more spiritual.

In those parts of the world where winter is cold, Christmas warms our bodies and souls from the inside out.

Christmas is a time of expansion – we eat too much, spend too much, drink too much, but our hearts expand in the process.  When we extend ourselves for others, we feel better, and associate Christmas with abundance and love.

A Happy Celebration

A Happy Celebration

The neighbours’ Christmas lights stay on all day and night, leaving an added glow, brightening the outside, when the days are short and the temperatures are cold.  When the letter carrier delivers the mail, it`s only a Christmas card, yay no bills!

My sister hosted a family Christmas gathering at her house, a wonderful opportunity for family bonding. No need to fly to a sunny location for Christmas; almost everyone wants to be home for Christmas, spending time with loved ones.

At Christmas, we give what we can.  It’s a time of goodwill and peace. We call a truce to arguments and wars, we see people we only see at Christmas, reminisce about Christmases past, and get updates on their lives today.

Christmas trees and decorations transform the inside of the house with colored lights twinkling like stars, with an angel on top.  We relax by the fire with hot cocoa, grateful for all the riches around us.

Christmas breeds joy in our hearts, of giving and receiving, rewarding service,  holidaying from work and stress, making wish lists, filling stockings with names on them, shopping in bustling toy stores, going to parties, making gingerbread houses, and smelling pine cones.

goodwill to all

goodwill to all

People I meet are wishing me a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, and to me it means have a happy celebration, good fortune, good food, and love.  I am not offended if they wish me a Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa, although I am not Jewish or African-Canadian, because I know they are wishing me the best celebration they can imagine.  Christmas is a family time that warms the heart and shortens winter.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/2094406126/”>Darwin Bell / photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameliatwu/6541663721/”>CameliaTWU

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/8303780929/”>** RCB **

The Embodiment of Faith

 

A Catholic's View of faith

Mother Teresa Embodied Faith

 

As I travel along my spiritual journey, I explore the subject of Christianity and touch on the Catholic faith, as I am familiar with it.

I became a Catholic upon my baptism at 2 months old.

For children, Catholic masses can seem long, especially high mass.  When I was 4 years old, with my dangling feet swinging back and forth below the church pew, I learned the meaning of eternity, as I was told to sit quietly during the mass for over an hour in all my rambunctiousness.

When you are born into a religion, you learn what to believe.  But  I was also curious about what other religions taught.

I attended Anglican and Baptist church services (both Protestant) with my friends, to see how they worshipped.  I learned that they taught similar messages to the Catholic faith.

Faith in Jesus is the route to salvation for all Christians, but Catholics also believe good works have merit, and there is a place called purgatory separating heaven and hell.  Protestants believe adherence to Scripture has more merit than good works.

Catholics, like all Christians, believe that God so loved the world that he sent us his only son Jesus to give us everlasting life.  Salvation hinges on your faith in Jesus, not your religious or church affiliation, as many people in the world do not have access to churches.

As the Dalai Lama says, all religions are good, and are all based on love and compassion.  I do not view the Catholic Church as better than any other church, but it is what I know, so am using it as an example.  It taught us to be humble, forgiving, compassionate and loving.  The overriding message was:  “to be a good person”.

I respect all religions.  They may not be perfect, but they are run by humans trying to build a human family to follow the wishes of God, and they help a lot of people in need.

 

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/200questions/article_9.aspx

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredmikerudy/4930357310/”>FredMikeRudy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>