I'm writing this Christmas afternoon from the downstairs family room of the steady's parents' home on the Lake of the Woods in northeastern Indiana (near the towns of Hudson and Ashley). We are in the midst of a mid-day rest before more family arrives in a few hours for dinner and gift-opening.
Like last year, it's been an ecumenical Christmas. Last night, we went to the 11 p.m. cantata at the First United Methodist Church in Auburn, IN. And, this morning, we went to the 9 a.m. Mass at Saint Mary of the Angels, a tiny Catholic church a short drive "just down the road."
Perhaps many people will remember Christmas 2012 in association with the awful tragedy that occurred earlier this month in Newtown, Connecticut. I pray that the people of Newtown, especially the loved ones of the adults and children who were killed, are someday able to again regain peace of heart and mind.
"May your Presence, Prince of Peace,
bless the world with peace
the poor with care and prosperity,
the despairing with hope and confidence,
the grieving with comfort and gladness,
the oppressed with freedom and deliverance,
the suffering with solace and relief."
The image above is "Adoration of the Shepherds" created in 1831-1832 by Johann Michael Wittmer (1802-1880). It is the property of the Bavarian State Picture Collections in Munich, Germany.