Skip to comments.Fr. Corapi: In Reality, Sadness Has No Place At Christmas Time Or Any Time…
Posted on 11/30/2010 3:33:29 PM PST by mlizzy
In the course of a life’s journey there are often stretches of bad road. It seems that some people have an easier time than others, but it is a rare individual that never encounters a rough stretch. In recent years, perhaps that’s why I have found an increasing number of people that liken themselves to old cars. One poor woman said she felt very old. When I reminded her that she was only 39, she responded that she’s like a three year old car – not that old, but with over 500,000 miles – most of it over bad roads.
It is a rather well known fact that the Christmas holidays are the most difficult period many people face all year. Many of my pastor friends tell me that more people die during the week before Christmas than any other time.
With the erosion of family unity has come sadness, all at a time that should be joyful. Sometimes we can only be happy by willing it, often not merely by feeling it. Reality demands that at Christmas we will to be happy, after all “A Child has been born to us!”
As I look out my window the snow is falling and the pine trees are clothed in Christmas white. It is very silent, perhaps a prelude to a silent night not far off. At a time when the forces of evil are relentless in their attempts to not only take Christ out of Christmas, but to suppress Christmas altogether, we must be just as relentless in our efforts to give glory to God through his Son, Jesus Christ.
This year approach Christmas as you would approach the Christ Child himself – with reverence and with thanksgiving. Allow nothing to rob your joy at this precious time. Sadness has no place in reality, true reality, for the Word has become flesh and dwelt among us. Humanity and divinity have been joined in Jesus, now come to us as an infant. In the cold winter of human hearts there is often no room at the Inn for the Holy Family. Make room in the warmth of your heart for the infant King the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Often the greatest joy is experienced by giving something to others: A smile, forgiveness, perhaps the gift of faith itself.
Have a most blessed and merry Christmas, and may God give you the Gift who contains all gifts: the Holy Spirit.
God bless you,
Fr. John Corapi
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” [Ecclesiastes 3:1-4]
While I like the general tone, of Fr. Corapi’s post, I don’t quite agree with the theology. The seasonal sadness that some feel at Christmas has no place at Christmas time, but genuine sadness is entirely appropriate in the right time and occasion, even if that happens to be at Christmas.
Sad over the sins of man...and their rejection of the only One Who can save. So too we join in His sorrows for the lost. However, we simultaneously have perpetual joy because we know of His finished work & His ultimate plan.
I agree with you. Sadness, happiness, and anything in between are part of being human.
I think if one’s faith life is very strong, they tend to buck off any type of sadness (complaining, etc.) and just pick up carry on. At least I’ve seen that with people who remain close to Christ [literally through the Eucharist] on a day-to-day basis. I’m thinking of my M-I-L and F-I-L. Watching them just for one hour is exhausting to me sometimes; what lives they lead — so much hardship, but neither of them ever complain about their situation nor are they ever depressed. It’s really quite remarkable. Praise Jesus!
I agree with Pollster1. Sadness and complaining are different things. Sadness and depression are different things. A person can be sad because a loved one has died, while firmly believing that person is in God’s loving hands, just as one can be sad a friend has moved away, even though the friend has found a fine job in a lovely state and married a nice man. We are sad because of the loss to ourselves, temporary though it may be.
By nature, we are bound in time and space in a way God is not. There is no contradiction between sadness and faith.
There is no contradiction between sadness and faith.Do you believe Fr. Corapi is saying this; that sadness and faith contradict themselves?
I hesitate to summarize his piece into a statement that might not fit his intent.
One point that I think is very accurate is that the disintegration of the family is to blame for much of the sadness people feel at Christmas ... or at any time of the year.
Sadness has no place in reality, true reality, for the Word has become flesh and dwelt among us.
The Scriptures seem to disagree.
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
Remember: joy and happiness are not the same thing.
One point that I think is very accurate is that the disintegration of the family is to blame for much of the sadness people feel at Christmas ... or at any time of the year.Yes yes, I agree with you (and Fr. Corapi) very much on this. I wish he would expound more on his thoughts regarding sadness. Maybe he has a show on EWTN regarding this. I think I understand what he is saying, and that is if life does you wrong (sickness, death of a loved one), do not be sad about it, but continue on the path of the Lord which can only bring love and joy. If he wrote this recently, he may have been thinking about his dog, Sage, and the feelings surrounding the loss of his well-loved pet. He's quite a guy. I love Fr. Corapi.
I think one can be sad about a loss *and also* continue on the path of the Lord, etc. Perhaps Fr. Corapi (whom I also admire very much) does as well ... perhaps (amateur psychologist alert!) he feels the need to deny his feelings of sadness so as not to be dominated by them.
And on a related topic, this time of year is pretty dark in many places. This probably has a great deal to do with the sadness many experience: not that it's "the holidays," but that it's winter. If we all spent Christmas on Haleakaloa, we might all have sunnier dispositions.
Remember: joy and happiness are not the same thing.Actually, joy is listed under happy in some dictionaries, but I do not consider them the same either ... I gave up on "happy" decades ago. It is self-serving, and suffering while attempting to be joyful *sigh* creates a more heaven-bound direction and trying to find true joy without suffering (like Jesus did for us) is a dead-end quest IMO ... those who suffer deeply have received a calling card -- a special invite from Jesus to feel His pain. What more could one ask for? ... *sighs again* ...
Perhaps Fr. Corapi (whom I also admire very much) does as well ... perhaps (amateur psychologist alert!) he feels the need to deny his feelings of sadness so as not to be dominated by them. And on a related topic, this time of year is pretty dark in many places...I'm finding Father's words interesting, especially if he wrote them after his dog died. Did you read his post on Sage? My screen got all blurry, then I went back, read it again, and the same thing happened all over. So I can understand your APA, however, he does mention that he should remain grateful for the time with Sage (I just read portions of his post again; darn blurry screen):
Its hard to lose things, harder to lose what we love. Yet, it was God who gave us these things from the beginning.And you're right about the darkness. It's actually welcoming when the snow comes (well, almost), because it lightens up the night.
That was a good article.
That's because we are so Norte centric.
In the southern hemisphere, Spring is ready to burst into glorious Summer!
Oh, it does that almost magically!
A clear night with a full moon transforms the landscape into a fairyland; especially if the snow is untracked.
But even an overcast, moonless night has enough light from the stars filtering thru the clouddeck to be able to make ones way fairly well.
I experienced one Christmas after my husband’s death when all I did was cry for the entire day.
Then I listend to a tape series about Creation and how God said, “This is good.” at the end of each day — and after creating man, God saying, “This is VERY good.”
That finally calmed me down and let me know I would get through things. Funny what can touch you when you are in the depths of depression.