Amidst the ever pervading noise of hawkers seeking to make huge sales, shopping centres giving discounts on prices of goods and the temptation to shop on impulse, it is easy to ignore or let the meaningful things we can do during Christmas slip by.
And when all the partying, shopping, and celebrations are over, it comes to the same old story – dryness of spirit and even in monetary affairs. But Christmas is not about you and I. It is about the KING of glory Whom at one moment in history became a baby, marking the redemption of all mankind. And for that we commemorate with His second coming.
Here, I propose just 3 ways by which we can make this season a fruitful one indeed:
1. Go to Confession and receive Holy Communion:
This might seem too quick a first point and quite uncomfortable for many. But it is one of the seven pillars of our Catholic faith which we must cling to with all humility and love. Christ is born for us each and every day in our lives as we start afresh in our spiritual growth. But at Christmas, He is born to us in a special way – as a King, ruler of every affair of our lives, as a Redeemer, saving us from the corruption of sin from our evil inclinations and in the world, as a Babe, showing us the way to heaven by humility and lowliness of heart.
With a good examination of conscience and invocatory prayers for strength especially if it has been long, we can make a good Confession and receive absolution for our sins. This lifts off our burden of sin and its guilt offering us the chance to celebrate the season with joy and lightheartedness. To also receive Our Blessed Lord worthily in the Eucharist. We can even resolve to make regular confessions. That will set us on a path to sainthood. Let us make a tidy home in our hearts for our KING!
2. Give someone a surprise visit:
Sounds easy of course! We can all do that. Yes! The idea here is not just visiting anyone. From the little experience I have had, making a visit to an old friend, a forgotten relative or even a destitute can be life-changing. It makes much impact as much as we are capable than just a mere giving of gift can(though that is also very good).
Moments shared with people lasts longer and can be a booster to those we visit for not giving up in any positive endeavour. It can remove feelings of loneliness, frustration, and even suicidal thoughts. It can be a lifesaver! Just think! You can save a life by your presence and warmth. Give someone a surprise! Live in the moment! Take pictures! Laugh! Radiate joy and create great memories!
3. Make a single act of resolution:
It is very common to prepare a litany of new year resolutions. Most often those feelings arise because we might have failed to pursue a resolution(s) we made the previous year or merely wish to challenge ourselves. But…
…it is prudent to make one resolution for the upcoming year, note it down, and actually work to realise it. Examples could be to go for Confession monthly, to pray the Rosary daily, to attend Mass devoutly, to read a Catholic book, to learn more about the Catholic faith, to pray for the grace to be more humble, more quiet, to be a person who keeps his word, to accomplish a specific feat, to read a chapter of the bible every day, to manage feelings of anger, etc.
One act of resolution spares us the stress of having to keep up to all our resolutions and frees us from unnecessary tension and fear of failing especially when we have shared with others. It also offers us the chance to marshall all our energies on one resolution and accomplish it. It will then give us the motivation to put down two or more resolutions the following year and on and be disciplined to carry it out.
We pray that this season does not come and go without us plunging into the wonderful mysteries at Christmas. God grant us the strength to practise these tips and I believe that it will not only change our outlook on the season, but transform us and others into the image of the Infant King!
With love, I wish you a joyous Christmas season!