Joy to the world!

Many people become depressed during the holidays. I hope you’re not one of them, but if you are, maybe this will help you or maybe it will help someone you know. LORD knows that in the past I’ve had my own bouts of depression at Christmastime.

Years ago, I was invited to hear Randall Wallace speak about his films and his filmmaking philosophy. Wallace’s movies include Braveheart, Secretariat, and We Were Soldiers. Given that it was Advent, he recalled that one year a personal heartache depressed him and he wasn’t in the mood to decorate his home for Christmas. After mulling it over, he realized that Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ, Who came into this world for him. Therefore, Wallace put out his Christmas lights and other decorations for Christ – and all the world to see.

The Christmas lights didn’t take away the event that triggered Wallace’s sorrow. Christmas lights won’t cure anyone from cancer or bring back our dead loved ones.

Nevertheless, as  Dietrich von Hildebrand told us, we are called to live in holy joy. I take that to mean no matter the sorrows we face in this life, we should live in the joy of knowing that our sadness is fleeting because we are made for eternal life.

Last year during Advent, a depressed neighbor backed into my car and I, likewise, backed into his. No damage was done so maybe this accident was providential. I was on my way to a Catholic ceremony, so one thing led to another and my neighbor confessed that he no longer went to Mass because he had lost his job and he thought God had forgotten him. I said that if God had forgotten him for even a moment, he would have ceased to exist. Therefore, it was no time to forget Christ.

Thankfully, my neighbor took it well. He assured me that his mother is a champion Catholic and he would try to cheer up. Instead of snapping at me, he cheered-up right there on the spot and I haven’t seen him since we met rather dramatically. Life is very short. We never know if we will see people again, so my philosophy is that it is best to be direct.

If you know a Christian who is alone in this world, please invite him or her to celebrate the LORD’s birthday with you in some way.

Here on my site are other stories and some great music videos under the category of CHRISTMAS. Whoever you are, wherever you are, remember: You are not forgotten. Christ made you in His image and He came into this world to prove His love for you. Even I pray for your happiness in this life and the next.

Now for some carols to get you in the Christmas spirit:
God rest ye merry gentle friends
Ring Christmas bells, Jesus is King
Two excellent renditions of The Wexford Carol

And why not have yourself a merry Christmas lights tour?

Portrait “The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John” by Niccolò Frangipane in 1585, who signed it in Latin as Nicolaus Frangipanis. It is owned by a private collector, who gave it to the world at the Web Gallery of Art.

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