There are those who say that Santa Klaus does not exist. Niccolo, my seven year old grandson says:
" Those who don't believe in him will never see, hear or ever experience a serene Christmas."
Some of his classmates whose parents are Socialists or Communists perforce consider Santa Klaus a myth and an opiate. They, of all people forget that there is a great deal of truth in myths and legends.
In Italy there was a real Nicholas, Bishop of Bari who distributed gifts to the poor and needy children. His acolytes came in the silence and blackness of the night and deposited food, cakes and playthings by their fireplaces. It must be said that the Bishop who was canonized a Saint for his good and kindly life descended from a rich clan. With each Christmas, wealthy and well-off families contributed money and foodstuffs. They wished their children to participate in the joy of giving at Christmas.
"Why should the Christmas Angel bypass us?" they asked sadly.
So the Bishop and the nobility decided that no child in their feudal lands would have a giftless Christmas Day.
Niccolo explained to his disbelieving friends and classmates that Saint Nicholas/Santa Klaus does not live and work in the North Pole or even in Lapland. He is somewhere in Time. Through a rift and/or a gate used only by him and his nine reindeer, for we must include Rudolph with his adorable red nose; he enters our space on the night before Christmas.
"Santa Klaus is a Nano Space Traveler. He and all his reindeer are astride a missile which allows them to penetrate all the time zones on our planet," said Niccolo.
Who can argue with that? Why would you want to? The innocence of a child(albeit a bright and multi-cultured if not acculturated one) must never be trifled with.
This Christmas of 2008 is going to be one of the most bleak, forlorn, bitter and sad in the history of the world.
Since the so-called end of World War ll, we have had continuous wars somewhere in the globe. Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, San Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Colombia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Israel, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique, to cite just a few.
The most unrelenting war is the one in the Congo because its wealth and resources continue to be incalculable. It is, without a doubt the richest nation on the planet.
And then there is the horror of Iraq, which is no longer the Iraq or Mesopotamia as we know it. Will it ever regain even a shadow of its former beauty and culture? I fear not for centuries.
Lest we forget Afghanistan. That splendid country of turquoise dawn and purple dusk is no more. Its people less than zombies.
During the Holy Mass at midnight at the Duomo of Genoa, with His Eminence, theCardinal Primate of Genoa presiding, I shall try not to cringe when the Cardinal, repeating the words of the Angel announces"Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus voluntatis."
Glory to God in the highest and on earth Peace to men of goodwill.
Who are these men of Goodwill? Certainly not most of our Political, financial and religious Leaders. The Pope is a man of peace. The Dalai Lama is another. The Patriarch of Moscow is yet another. The Ayatollah Khamenei ? The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem? Certain pious Rebbe? Perhaps. Time will tell.
We can do nothing for all the starving, freezing poor people huddled in shelters, cars, tents, caves,abandoned buildings and railway cars. If one dwells on it too much as I have for these past weeks I have suffered nightmares almost every night.We have decided to help two families in the United States. They used to be lovely people with careers and pretty homes. No longer.
We don't believe in telling people " Let us hope that things will improve or even change."
That is a crock full of merde. We have just begun to see the iceberg. We must all brace for the worst, which is yet to come.
Hope is a useless emotion to one in anguish. Faith can and does sustain a tormented soul but only for a time. Charity and Compassion are the best of all virtues.Use it as best and as often as you can.
As I sit in my beautiful studio/workroom painted a bright ochre, surrounded by palms and avocado trees in porcelain pots, I feel a righteous fury towards all the Shylocks, the Ponzis and the criminal Bankers who shall forevermore remain anonymous for their role in this Great World Depression.
Yes. I admit that I find it difficult to forgive these vultures for what has been done to millions of hardworking people. Yet forgive them I must if I want to call myself a follower of Jesus and a Roman Catholic.
Thankfully my family in Italy and in Asia have not been affected. My husband and I saw this financial armageddon coming over two years ago. Let's just say that some of the individuals running these funds of funds made Al Capone and Jack the Ripper look teddy bears by comparison. We thought it more prudent to lose these criminals as acquaintances than to keep them. Brr!!!
Life goes on. All the world's troubles are but a tiny drop in God's never ending Universe. Prayer has power. Never doubt it. An elementary knowledge of finances would be sufficient to protect the many from the unbridled lust for money by the few.
In truth most people have only themselves to blame. Their greed as well as their wholehearted trust of their money managers and stock brokers proved to be their undoing. But wait. It need not be calamitous. A return to a more simple and basic life is a viable option. Save, Save, Save instead of Spend, Spend, Spend is a good Mantra to keep repeating and actually doing.
Come what may, despair and dismay must not possess us. We must live in the present and act charitably.
I wish you all a serene and peaceful Christmas regardless of how your life has been rent asunder. In your heart you must feel Love and Courage for yourself and for your loved ones. That is how you will emerge victorious.
In Julius Caesar's Gallia(Gaul)