Stressful Holidays

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Author: Br. Bob

May God give you peace! Christmas hope and joy to you in these exciting, and sometimes stressful, days before Dec. 25th!

At most of our sites, these days present more challenges than usual with the holiday hype we experience all around us. Do you find it hard to be patient? On my desk, I have a card entitled: “Ten Ways to deal with Stress.”

Meanwhile, as we think about the season and its meaning, I’d like to offer a thought that comes out of one of our recent prayer sessions at Meldrum. The theme that day came from Matthew’s gospel story of the 10 talents that a master gave to each of three servants. He later came back to see what they did with what he gave them. Our question for discussion from the gospel story was: “What talent do you appreciate within yourself? 

One person remarked that he is a “prayer warrior,” and said he loves to hold people up in prayer. Others mentioned their talents, and then one person said, “I think my main talent is to love—to love unconditionally as God does.”  I asked if that included loving those who are “unlovable.” Everyone laughed because we all know people who might fit that category (and maybe ourselves at times!).  Then on the heels of that remark, another man said, “I believe my greatest talent is to sacrifice. Look at what Jesus sacrificed for me. Can’t I do the same for God and for people?” He then added, “If I have something, and someone else needs it more than I do, I should give it to him/her.” 

I’ve been reflecting on this lately as I prepare yet again for another Christmas season and try to retain my sanity in the midst of the commercialization of the "Holidays.” The two remarks above point to the core of our Christian faith and the Gospel on which the Capuchin charism is based:

                  1. To love unconditionally, especially when it is hard and demanding (compassion)

                  2. To sacrifice for another; or to “go the extra mile.”  (Joyful Service)

I’m trying to rest in the value and peace of these two realities that I see lived out, sometimes heroically, by so many of our staff and volunteers, not to mention the guests and people we are privileged to serve and accompany. A blessed season to each of you in whatever way or tradition you are celebrating it.