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by David G. Duggan ©
December 25, 2023

A year ago, I had Covid, a mountain of legal bills thanks to an alternative-lifestyle minister who had sued me claiming that my opposition to his ordination was an act of stalking, and hometown football teams which had together lost 21 straight games. Things couldn't look much worse.

Yet for some reason, I am more overwhelmed--more apprehensive--this Christmas season than I can ever remember. Maybe I have no memory of pain and suffering and things always look worse than they are. But others with whom I've shared my outlook also say that they feel the same. Is this some sort of Jungian collective unconscious? Is it the border, Ukraine, Gaza, a senile man in the White House, an old age of foreboding doom? What is going on?

Scripture gives some ray of hope but how long can I rely on scraps of paper written 2,000 and more years ago? "My soul magnifies the Lord," says the expectant Mary on learning that she will be the theotokos, the God-bearer. Where was her safety net, her retirement account, her Medicare supplement? I may have all of these and more, but a lot of good they're doing me in the depths of despair.

Seventy Christmases have passed through my psyche, my soul. Trees and feasts, soup kitchens and services, carols and children in wonder. A collection of memories to be sure, but if man cannot live on bread alone, he cannot live on memories either.

Perhaps there is no out from this: only the words spoken by the angels to field-bound shepherds: "Today is born in Bethlehem a savior who is Christ the Lord."

David Duggan is an attorney living in Chicago. He is a regular contributor to Virtueonline

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