I hope no-one objects to my working on this Christmas Day! Its an odd time, isn't it? We are still in the Christmas Octave - often explained simply as the extension of the great solemnity of Christmas over 8 days. The issue is that it isn't quite a solemnity. Its more of a Feast day, a rank lower! we don't day the creed on the non-Sundays, for example. But the Office is celebrated of Christmas Day, except where a saint has his own prayers of that day. But for me, it is a feast ( Easter Octave is much more complicated to discern!) so a penitential Friday. the bishops answered this last year here: https://www.facebook.com/cbcew/posts/296425130381143
So moving aside from my ramblings on the day we find ourselves in, I don't know what I want to say to you. I know what the title is meant to be about, and I know what ought to be said too. I don't know who reads this blog and what your interest in it is, but you will take what you are given or you will go some place else in this cyber cafeteria.
I want to start with myself. I always start with myself, I feel it makes me seem less selfish, as I end somewhere else and people forget I talked about myself so much! I'm not doing too well. It's a hard time of year; there are lots of expectations and lots to think about and people to greet. It's hard to meet all that. It's hard to be merry and reach out to people. It's not even about going out to those that need it. You do the compulsory greetings, and then cross the obligation off the list. Such disorder. We should be reaching out to those who need us this time of year- the poor and lonely. But even then, we are less committed than out familial obligations. We can give our all one day, and walk away the next. It's easy to fall into the mindset of charity as a chore - maybe we calculate 10% of earnings and give that - while it's generous; the heart isn't in the other but simply in feeling good at oneself. I guess to be radical in our Christian Identity we have to give until it hurts, as Mother Teresa would teach us. That sounds fine. But, it's not easy. Nor is it financial. Charity's not calculated or allocated - it's love. Love is total. We can't hold back.
But I do. I don't want to associate with the people on the streets or to serve those in need. I don't feel safe and secure and don't know how to do it. even if I did, I know it would be a one off. Even a series of one-offs, but I could stop associating. I could stop giving. That doesn't seem right. Even being radical, seems so temporary. Though, I guess we are then free to make a choice each moment for the other.
But like I said, I'm not too great. better than a couple of days ago. But I have struggled in the last couple of weeks really. Nothing has really happened, but I have felt very down and unmotivated. I feel under pressure, but in reality I don't have anything to decide (actually, I do have one thing...) or do. I just am not good. And thats not right or normal. I should be better. But I'm not. I'm not well. Last year, I think I felt so down that I couldn't get through the day sometimes and that was a huge burden. But that's not my fault. I need to respect myself enough to care for my mental well-being (/of course, it's annoying when you seem to be doing everything right and things still go wrong.). So I'm taking some space. unfortunately, I'm leading a workshop at youth 2000 so I hope and pray to be okay for that - I really need to re-learn my prayer life as well. Prayer has been a bit hit and miss the last couple of weeks. But I'll get there.
I should have skipped in with my half-anecdote when I mentioned love being total, but I guess I needed to share that with you first. I will muse on this in due course!