Friday, November 27, 2009

An Examination of Faith

This summer while on retreat, I was told by my Jesuit retreat director that Faith is actually a four-fold virtue that gets broken down into Fiducia, Visio, Fidelitas, and Assentio. Fiducia stands for trust in God as one trusts in close friends, Visio for the outlook or vision on life that faith provides, Fidelitas for the fidelity of pereservance through trials and failures, and Assentio for the assent of the intellect to the truths of the faith.

So, one way to examine one's faith could simply be to ask...

Where is my faith weak?

Follow the way of Christ despite trials and failure?
Allow faith to shape my outlook on life?
DO     I...
Trust in God as a loving Father who is the source of all good?
Hold as true and holy all that the Catholic Church teaches in regards to faith and morals?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Thanksgiving, I Believe in Jesus Christ

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade had as its theme song a tune whereby people proclaimed that they believe in the miracle of love because they believe in Santa Claus. At the end of the parade, Santa Claus wishes everyone "Happy Thanksgiving to one and all."

There was a time when I was a kid that it was understood that Santa Claus is associated with Christmas. And I still remember the Macy's Santa saying the typical "Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas" at the end of the parade.

Does Macy's need a reminder of who Santa Claus is, that he is really the culture's interpretation of Saint Nicholas, whose feast is celebrated Dec 6th and, in the European countries that celebrate him, is often accompanied with gifts? Or just on a purely cultural level, do we need to remind Macy's that Clement Clarke Moore's poem Twas the Night Before Christmas, describing a visit from St. Nicholas, ends "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night"?

Perhaps. And I for one would just like to testify today that I believe in the miracle of love because I believe in Jesus Christ, who, by the way, inspired St. Nicholas. So without Jesus, there is no Santa Claus. I think I'll be writing Macy's a courteous letter lest they forget the real reason for the season.