One thing I really love about Christmas is how universal it is. It is the ultimate Christian thing. No matter your ethnicity, economic situation, age, or denomination, the joy of Christmas is palpable this time of year.
I love how Christian a lot of Christmas music is. People don't get into arguments about the minutiae of Christmas, they just celebrate. It seems like the one day each year that we can agree on something, the Catholics and the Protestants.
Midnight Mass, I have decided as of this year, is my favorite Mass of the entire year. I love new beginnings. The days leading up to Easter weigh so heavily on my heart that Easter comes more as a relief to me than anything. Leading up to Christmas is eager anticipation and excitement.
This year at Midnight Mass, I sat next to some Christians who, I think, had never been to Mass before. At first when they sat down and the mom was drinking coffee in the pew I was super scandalized and shocked. I had to calm myself down and realize that they weren't Catholic so that I could focus on the Mass. Mostly I was just mad at myself for judging them. I kept thinking about what if I would have said something in my initial shock. I could have turned them away from the Church forever. (I'm not writing that because I think I'm so influential that I could put a wedge between them and the Truth, but rather because it's these little actions or thoughts that can have a huge impact.)
I used to not be very self aware. Sometimes I'm still not. Because of this, I can recognize well when others aren't self aware, I think. That's another story.
I was praying about niceness during the Mass. I've often said that I'm not a very nice person, and I believe this to be true. I love people for the most part, but there are a handful of people whom I just do not like. Because I don't like them, I avoid them. I convince myself that it's more beneficial for me to say nothing to them than to be fake or to talk with them and then drag out my thoughts about how I don't like them. Honestly it's all bullshit. I don't think there's anything holy about avoiding someone. And it's hard to reconcile my dislike of anyone with my Christian faith. I wonder: can I really love my brothers and sisters if I don't like them?
I'm not very good at this, still.
One of my colleagues told me I was the most religious person he knows, but that I'm not very nice. He's right. I need to work on it. I need to be nicer to people.
Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for me.