Is Christmas Losing It's Way in Our World
But I think this debate is merely an excuse or subterfuge that keeps us from venturing into a much deeper and trickier debate about the nature of happiness. Modern man seeks happiness as if it were a chemical formula, something like a lever or catalyst that acts on our minds, instilling a "sense of well being."
Naturally, this search often results in failure because the best that feeling will be a fleeting one; just a painkiller or distraction for a few days the pain that quietly tortures us when we decide to amputate, to break away, or to deny something which is inherently part of us. There is no happiness without a full acceptance of who we are, and that we include a religious dimension, or if you prefer a transcendent dimension, which can not be removed without a serious weakening of our own human nature.
Modern man, in expelling God from his horizon of life, has become a being halved and, therefore, unhappy. The modern man feels in the Christmas season the amputation of part of his whole, and this is seen in his distressing restlessness that is temporarily countered by commercialism--a euphoric soothing of the empty person.
There also comes with the Christmas season a longing, a nostalgia for childhood and a wish to return to the innocence that was part of being a child. 'Do you believe in Santa?' is very much, to a child, as the question, 'do you believe in Jesus?' to which the affirmative would be the most likely answer. In adulthood we can experience a deep desire for that childlike state, and we are reminded of it at every turn with Christmas television specials we watched, or the activities we found so magical--plays,songs,pagents and so on.
The soothing devices that modern man has devised to silence the protest of true nature, are diverse: from the obsessive consumption of food to that humanitarianism fakery that, stripped of its primary requirement (consideration of others as sacred vessel ),remains pure hype, through the primary pleasures and their clumsy satisfaction all purely physiological.
When we speak of "secular Christmas" what, in fact, is being designated, is that unhappiness that modern man lives out in his fractured state--his spiritual needs are repressed through the devices of diversion.
But Christmas, above all, is the event through which man should recognize the presence of God in the human adventure and, therefore, the transcendent dimension of their lives.
When God as Christ is born at Christmas time, so too is He born anew within every man.a By that new birth as their own man feels complete and in accordance with himself, and that conformity arises as a radiance and a happiness that brings his entire life into alignment.
Stripped of that deep and fundamental significance, Christmas becomes a tragic search for soothing paint-killer, a wild, mad, desperate pursuit of what is nothing more than a chimera.
Christmas is no chimera, but it is made one by millions who have lost their way, and traded a priceless gift, the gift of the birth of God on earth, for a tinsel-wrapped,box that, when opened, is found to be empty.
Those of us who have been truly blessed are the ones who have not lost the true Christmas,as well as those who, God-willing, will once again discover it in this Christmas season.