It’s been a tradition of mine to give my friends a Christmas blessing on the blog, or via e-mail, and this year will be no exception. The benediction will be short, however, as I have to be honest and say that my heart isn’t fully in the Christmas spirit this year. The year was a bad one, and I’ve had a string of them, but I think we all have, in some form or another, and we’re expected to survive them. It is my hope that you, who had a wonderful year, be thankful and appreciative of what you were blessed with. For those who didn’t, it’s understandable. Too many problems, too many wounds to deal with. But we continue on. We always will. If you believe in today, then it’s a day of hope and rejuvination. In the end, hope is all we have, even if it is sometimes misplaced. All prayers will be answered with time. If I believe in nothing else, I’ll maintain belief in that, and I hope you will, too.
On that note, I’ll leave you with some wonderful Christmas music, courtesy of the legendary Swedish tenor, Jussi Björling:
Sleep in heavenly peace… sleep in heavenly peace.
This is Christianity done right. These prayers offered to a man who had a massive difference with Blessed Mother Teresa are a testimony to love of everyone, not just those who agree with you. It is the core of the Christian faith, whether one be Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant, that should be kept in our minds at all times. It is something we all fall short of, but to strive for this is the worthiest of all struggles.
Though the mighty Hitch may have said some evil things, he was, by no means, an evil man. He was a damaged soul, as most of us are. May he rest comfortably in peace, and may be finally have a chance to discuss polemics with Blessed Mother Teresa in Heaven.
It is with sadness, though not an unexpected one, to report that one of the greatest polemicists of our day, the ever controversial, every-annoying, utterly brilliant Christopher Hitchens has died.
I came into contact with Hitchens’ writing about ten years ago, a bit after 9/11. Before then, I had dismissed him offhand as just another pathetic atheist after his utterly repugnant comments regarding Blessed Mother Teresa (irony of ironies, the next post ties the two together one last time). The horribly acidic taste of his grotesque atheism never really left my mind until the root causes of his disposition were exposed by the man himself in candid interviews and his autobiography, Hitch-22, a book truly worth reading. That topic is for another day.
It was his political discourses that interested me more, as he had started his political life as a Trotskyite who finally grew up by the time 9/11 occurred. His former cronies never quite forgave him for such a change of heart. Delusional liars rarely do accept it when one of their own wakes up to reality. There will be many comments, many articles, many news bites and obituaries you will find on the great Hitch today. Read them, but read ALL of them, not just by the writers you like. He was a multi-faceted writer, and probably one of the most interesting commentators of the last thirty years.
May you rest well, Hitch, and because so many of us prayed for your benefit, may God hear our prayers and show you mercy.
To my family, friends and readers, I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. It is my hope to celebrate with everyone, at least in spirit.
As we spend this day giving thanks for the blessings we all have had this past year, spend a bit of time contemplating Psalm 100 today:
1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
May you all eat well!