Spirituality for Today – December 2008 – Volume 13, Issue 5

Dear Readers

Photo of a red candle surrounded by gold bowsThis Christmas we have chosen two beautiful short stories from days past. One, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (1862-1910) and The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933). These stories bring the true meaning of Christmas and during these difficult economic times we need to look at a time when life was more simple and joy was found in the most unselfish ways.

Each person reading the story, "The Gift of the Magi", can draw individual lessons and morals for his or her way of life. The obvious lessons of unselfishness, caring about the other, generosity even at the price of personal sacrifice, all of these can be gleaned from reading this story. No matter who reads it, no matter how many times it is read, it is a story of two people who loved each other and were determined to sacrifice for each other no matter what the cost. That is what Christ taught us on that first Christmas 2000 years ago.

The journey of Artaban in "The Other Wise Man" to see Christ is a reminder that Christ, in the person of the homeless or the forgotten elderly, is in our midst. Van Dyke has told us that the most beautiful words that we can hear are the words "as long as you did it to them, you did it for me."

MERRY CHRISTMAS and may the New Born Child reign in your hearts forever.

Father Mark