What is your special desire for peace this Christmas during this year of the pandemic? History teaches us that the quest for peace is a ongoing journey across cultures in China, the United States and throughout the world in 2020 and into 2021.
Now take a moment. Use your imagination. Walk into this historic West Hunan church from long ago. Take a seat. Confidently ask for the peace you know and want. Let us be motivated to find and accept peace for ourselves and those you love in 2020.
We can learn a lot by going back in history to sit in this church. It is decorated in all the splendor of Christmas. Recall how the Chinese Catholic Christians came here together to grow in faith. Together with the Passionist missionaries, Sisters of Charity, Convent Station, New Jersey and Sisters of Saint Joseph, Baden Pennsylvania this church was a place of solace amidst famine in the 1920s, through the chaos of war and the bombings in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Even in the face of sufferings and persecutions in the 1950s their hope did not diminish. Chinese Catholics have remained faithful and continue to witness and practice their faith.
Let the historic legacy of 1920s Christmas decorations in this church encourage us in 2020.
Christmas is be a time to redirect ourselves towards peace. Throughout the world, we Catholic and Christian believers ponder the birth narrative of Jesus Christ. It is quite easy to see ourselves confused by faith. Mary and Joseph knew this feeling as well.
Our life is full of real questions. Why does life so suddenly turn this way for me? At other moments we embrace life as we recall the hope in the birth of Jesus. Everything is optimistic. No doubt most of us can identify with the wise men or the shepherds in the Gospel stories. We know life offers us peace and understanding. Oftentimes we have to be willing to take the risk to go and find it.
Even if we have doubts about God in our life, there are moments when all of us find ourselves looking towards the stars or seeking a special sign. Let us be reassured that we are not alone.
How do we know this? Because even in a pandemic, our humble confidence of faith still offers us the opportunity to name our personal special intention for Christmas 2020 and New Year 2021. You name yours. I will name mine. Together, let us offer prayers and be open to healings, peace, security and good health. This Christmas 2020, let us all seek be one Holy Family in 2021.
If circumstances permit, kindly consider an end of the year 2020 or new year 2021 tax deductible donation made out to Passionist History Ministries which will assist me in fulfilling my ministry as Passionist historian. Large or small, your financial donation assists us to maintain ongoing programs at the Passionist Historical Archives. It enables us to answer requests from researchers and scholars, and educate and inspire the public. You help the vowed Passionist priests, brothers and all associated with our ministry continue the desire of our our founder St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775) to preach Jesus Christ crucified: May the Passion of Jesus Christ Be Always in Our Heart. Learn more at https://passionistarchives.org/donations/ You can also send me your personal prayer intentions at [email protected]