Year Of The Lord's Favour
"Mrs Baker Eddy (founder of Christian Science) was very opposed to giving christmas presents...Far more helpful, she thought, was to sit in a chair and think beautiful thoughts." Chesterton disagreed with this because at the first Christmas the divine Father " did not in point of fact think beautiful thoughts about us. Instead, He gave us the aboriginal Christmas present which consists of the divine Lord."
We also learn that when Charles Dickens died, someone exclaimed: "What! Dickens dead. Then will Father Christmas die too." Dingley Dell, it seems, is the true image of the world as it was meant to be before the Fall.
The work helps us to make resolutions: "We ask God this Christmas to give us the grace of spiritual childhood, to open our hearts to those in need, and above all to place our trust in the ultimate Goodness of things whose name is the Father of Jesus Christ Our Lord."
As one might expect from Nichols, the reflections are profoundly theological: "In the beginning was the Word" may be paraphrased as "In the beginning was rationality." The ultimate reality of the world is order that is filled with thought. If you are an atheist it is impossible to make that claim.
We move from Dickens and Dingley Dell to the world as it is today to be reminded that the family is called to enter a "Nazareth novitiate." From the Holy Family, we are called to learn the beauty of generosity and self-giving, of fidelity and chastity.
A typical homily is about one page and it provides sufficient material for prayerful reflection. In this Year of Faith, this work will most certainly help us deepen our faith.