It seems like we’ve been preparing for Christmas since Labor Day and on Friday Christmas will be here. By Monday (or maybe even Saturday) our secular world will have moved beyond Christmas to the next big shopping event–Valentines Day. Once December 26th arrives, there will be no more Christmas Carols on the radio, the trees will be dumped by the driveway for trash pickup and the season will be over for another 10 months.
However, when most people are finished with Christmas, Catholics are just starting the Christmas season. For Catholics, Christmas Eve begins the true Christmas Season and the Christmas Season does not end until January 10th with the Baptism of the Lord.
What about us? When do we end our Christmas? What do we do to keep Christ as the center of our lives beyond the Christmas season? We are all used to hearing “Keep Christ in Christmas” but do we also say “Keep Christ in February 23rd or May 15th or October 9th?
St. Augustine wrote that “our hearts are restless until they rest in him.” This year take a few minutes out of your Christmas celebrations to plan ways to keep Christ out of Christmas too! We need him every minute of every day, not just at Christmas time.
Try this simple prayer from St. Patrick each day:
Christ be beside me,
Christ be before me,
Christ be behind me,
King of my heart.
Christ be within me,
Christ be below me,
Christ be above me,
never to part.
Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left hand,
Christ all around me,
shield in the strife.
Christ in my sleeping,
Christ in my sitting,
Christ in my rising,
light of my life.
Christ be in all hearts thinking about me;
Christ be on all tongues telling of me;
Christ be the vision in eyes that see me;
in ears that hear me, Christ ever be.
Merry Christmas from Compass Catholic Ministries!