Howard Thurman (1899 – 1981) was an American writer who has left us with powerful thoughts and insights about Christmas. In his book, "The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations," he wrote these stirring words:
O holy Saint Joseph of Cupertino
who by praying at your examinations,
were only asked the questions you knew,
please pray for me now that I may be granted a similar favor,
and in return dear Saint Joseph,
I promise to make your name known and loved.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water flowing from the side of Christ, purify me.
Passion of Christ, comfort me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Hide me within Your wounds.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
From the malignant enemy defend me.
At the hour of my death call me,
And cause me to come to You,
That with the Saints and the Angels,
I may praise You
For everlasting ages.
Lord Jesus hanging on the Cross,
I raise sorrowful and shameful eyes to you.
You have granted me untold blessings
and I have repaid you by contributing to your Passion and death.
My hands took part in your scourging,
my voice was among those who denied you
and called for your death,
my thoughts brought about your crowning with thorns,
my sins drove the nails into your hands and feet,
the lance into your side.
One hundred years ago, two young Irish priests, Edward J. Galvin and John Blowick, established a branch of the Missionary Society of Saint Columban, colloquially known as the Columban Fathers, in the United States of America, specifically the Omaha area.
When I joined the Columban Lay Missionary orientation program in 2002, I knew that my decision entailed a lot of letting go. I knew that there will be special occasions at home that I would miss. This includes one of the most important gatherings, a time to be home, a time with family during Christmas. Since 2003, I have only spent two Christmases with my family: 2009 and 2016. Sadly, 2009 was my mom's last Christmas before she passed away.