"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Sunday, December 18, 2005

For parents: the real St. Nick

I should have done this on December 6, the feast of the real St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop in what is now Turkey. But I was too tired, and in any case I feared preaching to the choir. This is one of those topics about which catechesis, like that about the sacrament of reconciliation, tends to reach only the people who need it the least. But who knows? And on Sundays, I have the benefit of having got out of bed after only a half-day's work. So now that I've returned from Mass, here's the skinny.

When raising my older daughter, I loved being able to tell her, without lying, that Santa Claus was real. He just wasn't like the Macy's version: he belongs to "the communion of saints," on "whose constant intercession we rely for help." I told her that St. Nicholas continues to do for children what he once did while on earth; only he does it with prayer, not a reindeer-drawn sleigh from the North Pole. I hope I thereby planted a conviction of the value of prayer.

Perhaps somebody out there can do the same for their children. At least, so I pray.
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