Sunday, December 25, 2005
"Today we can marshal vast material resources, but the men and women in our technological age risk becoming victims of their own intellectual and technical achievements, ending up in spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart.
"The modern age is often seen as an awakening of reason from its slumbers, humanity's enlightenment after an age of darkness. Yet without the light of Christ, the light of reason is not sufficient to enlighten humanity and the world. For this reason, the words of the Christmas Gospel - 'the true light that enlightens every man was coming into this world' - resound now more than ever as a proclamation of salvation."
- Pope Benedict XVI, in his Christmas homily
Several papers ran stories about the Pope's first Christmas homily and I admired the fact that he spoke out about several key issues in the world today - wars in Africa, peace in Iraq and Palestine/Israel, and continued dialogue in Korea. Go pope!
The NY Times ran an interesting story about the "Truce of Christmas, 1914" where during the horrible trench warfare of World War I, regular troops on both the British and German sides mutually declared a cease-fire to celebrate Christmas - supposedly, it was spurred on by the singing of old Christmas carols that both sides knew, such as "Silent Night" (originally a German hymn, "Stille Nacht") and "Come All Ye Faithful" (the original Latin version being "Adeste Fidelis"). It was one of those rare times in history where common soldiers, filled with the understanding that their enemy was as human as they were, stopped the fighting.
I wonder if that would even happen today.
For myself, there was no grand sermons or special truces today. Just church, time with family, good food, some presents... and that's all I really wanted anyways.
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