Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The shortest Christmas wish list

If you asked some of the contestants for the Miss Universe title what their deepest desire is, they would probably answer ‘World peace”. If you asked them to even write it down, it would be something like “World piece” (sorry Miss Universe, but I know you have a good sense of humor, and you may not be one of these ladies anyway).

A courageous parish priest’s request to his parishioners to go to confession instead of giving him Christmas presents was very well received both in his parish (pretty remarkable!) and in the Catholic blogosphere. This is a priest who has his priorities right. Well done, father! It is soothing for the soul to hear some good news amidst the sea of bad ones we get every day.

What else could a priest ask for?

Even though this good news broke some days ago already, it kept coming back to my mind. What else could a priest ask for Christmas? The mission of a priest is to bring souls to heaven, many of whom would be lost without him. The priest brings Christ to the faithful by administering the sacraments. So, it is clear that the only way to Christmas is repentance and the cleaning of one’s soul. We spend so much time to prepare the house for Christmas: the house is decorated, the tree is set, gifts are bought etc. But the real preparation must be inside. To make an appeal similar to that of our brave priest is the only right wish a parish priest can make. It is not a vague, utopian wish like world peace, but a concrete one, which resounds in the heart of each. Priests, be courageous and challenge us!

Not only priests

As Catholics we are all called to work for the salvation of souls, starting with our own. My fellow Catholics, the greatest gift we can give our priests for Christmas is that we go to confession. Any Catholic taking their faith seriously should prefer the salvation of a single soul over any material gift however valuable, and should never make compromises or put their salvation in jeopardy because of any material good.

To see if I have my priorities right I need to answer this simple question: what is my most inner desire for Christmas?

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