I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens
I actually began writing this blog last night while listening to Pop Francis’ midnight mass. Even though I am not Catholic, I enjoy listening and watching the Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. There are numerous reasons why I try to watch this every Christmas Eve, I love the children’s choirs, pipe organ playing in the background, the opera singing, and the symphony with all the violins and cellos
The camera always pans over the crowd to the beautiful artwork and statues of the cathedral. There’s the use of all the diverse languages from around the world; I always wanted to learn Latin which is used often in the mass. I really do not know what all the ceremony and symbolism represents; I am going to have to research the process one of these days. I just find the entire setting beautiful. I also like the element of historical symbolism that is presented in the mass. The Book of the Gospel which was placed by the statue of the baby Jesus was a replica of the one from 1506. The history in the walls of the Vatican and Rome would be amazing to know and study.
The message I got from listening to the Pope was the fact, “the world needs tenderness”. I agree with this statement from him. I think the world could use more tenderness, good will toward fellow man so to speak. I spent most of today, Christmas Day with my family.
I brought my 95 year old great aunt out to the family gathering. If you really want to learn about people, you should talk to someone who has been around for as long as her. She always shares stories of time past; the best learning experience anyone could ask to receive. She also provides insight; we often go through life thinking we shouldn’t do certain things. We hold back in telling people how we feel out of fear of rejection. Or we fail to try something new because we think we are too old to learn. But wouldn’t you rather look back when you are 95 and say, “wow, I can’t believe I did that” than say “I should have done that when I had the chance”.
Life changes so quickly. Be with the ones you love and show no fear. Try zip-lining, mountain climbing, a new class or anything else that makes your heart sing.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
From my house to yours….