A remake of 'The Night Before Christmas'.
Not sure who wrote it... my mom just forwarded it to me. It's about the wonderful children who were killed in the Connecticut shooting.
Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
Those children all flew into the arms of their King
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."
When the stable was first built, it was beautifully clean. The stable owner took pride in it. But after animals dwelt there for years, it began to look dirty. Hay was everywhere, and grime covered the walls. It smelt badly, and was unfit for anyone to enter. Eventually, the owner of the stable tired of the mess. He took a broom and started sweeping. And sweeping. And sweeping. Then he scrubbed. And scrubbed. And scrubbed. The stable was once again clean. The following evening, he spotted a lady and a man coming towards his house from a distance. The couple knocked on his door. The lady was obviously pregnant and in labor. The man (who the stable owner had found out was the husband of the lady) asked if he could use his stable as a resting place. Everyone else had turned them away. "They all said 'We have no room!' or 'We are too busy!'", the man explained. The stable owner led them towards the stable, secretly thankful that he had spent all that time cleaning it.
The next morning, the man and lady came to the front door of the stable owner's house. Their newborn son was sleeping peacefully in his mother's arms. The man thanked the stable owner profusely. His son had had a place to rest. The lady smiled at the stable owner. "His name is Jesus", she said softly. As the couple went away, the stable owner gave glory to God. The Christ-Child had found a resting place.
In this story, the dirty stable represents our soul. It started out clean, but sin got in and dirtied it. We got tired of the mess in our soul, and went to work cleaning it up by the sacrament of Confession. Our soul was once again restored to beauty. There is less than one week until the coming of Jesus - will he find a clean place to come and rest?
Here is the long-promised paper on tolerance! Enjoy!
The Evolution of Tolerance
Over the course of time, many words and their meanings evolve or develop a new definition entirely. This may be the result of many factors. As time elapses, customs and cultures change, as do people. Certain morals may become more or less valued in society, and that is often shown in our language. It impacts our outlook on life, and ultimately, the way we live. The word 'tolerance' could undoubtedly be called one of the most prevalent terms used today, as well as one of the most misinterpreted.
In previous generations, 'tolerance' had slightly different implications than it has today. Primarily, it meant that you were able to put up with some annoyance or discomfort. Everyone has a limit of what they can tolerate, and that limit varies by person. Along with that, it referred to the respect due to a person, even if their opinions differed from your own. You were not, however, obligated to accept or agree with their point of view. This meaning has changed significantly in only a short period of time. It really was an easy alteration; they only had to change one key word.
Due to some subtle adaptations of the word, tolerance is now seen in a different light. It seems that people either don't know the difference between respect and acceptance (two easily confusable words), or they're just ignoring it, because, there is a difference! When we are told (directly or indirectly) that we must be 'tolerant' of everything, that no longer means we must respect differing opinions, we must agree with them. There is no longer an objective truth. We have become afraid to 'stir the pot', hence, we shut our mouths and comply. Well, whatever we have neglected to 'stir' in that pot may burn. That is what happens. We cannot let the government and media silence us. Christians have a voice; it must be heard.
The new and revised definition of tolerance, though pleasing to many, appears rather, well, hypocritical. They tell us everything is okay, nothing is wrong, and somehow this new-fangled idea will make everybody happy. I couldn't disagree more with this statement. If one of your dearest friends skipped over to you and said 'Hey, I'm going to go get drunk tonight! What do you think?', would you nod your head, grin idiotically, and say something about how wonderfully freeing it is to be able to accept everyone's ideas? I hope not. You would probably warn them about the dangers of overdrinking, not because you had a lack of respect for their freedom, but because you cared about them. You loved them and wanted the best for them.
It is evident, then, that the meaning of tolerance has changed over time. What started with enduring or respecting something or someone eventually metamorphosed into acceptance. This all goes to show how our society has lost our focus on Christ, who, sadly, is not 'tolerated' by many people. May we always remember that it is He who is "The Way, the Truth, and the Life", not our government leaders.
For those of you who haven't heard of him, Peter Kreeft is a super-smart, super-Catholic, and super-funny philosopher. In his book, Before I Go: Letters to Our Children About What Really Matters (This is one of his easiest reads. Despite that, it was one of the deepest books I've ever read. Like I said before, HE. IS. SMART), he makes a great point about checking our motives before we do anything, even if it's something good. Now that doesn't mean we have to sit down, have a tea, and contemplate life in general for half an hour before we get on the school bus each morning (I mean, you can if you want to, but I don't exactly feel very contemplative at 7:30 in the morning), but we should look at the reasons behind our actions. If I make a $1,000,000 donation to some famous charity just to recieve public acclaim, are my intentions good? No. If I make that donation for the sole purpose of offering someone in need a better and healthier life, are my intentions good? Yes. Now I'm going to stop talking, and let Mr. Kreeft take over. He writes,
" Seven Bad Reasons for Doing Anything
1. It's popular. (So?)
2. It's modern. (So what?)
3. It's efficient. (For what?)
4. It's economical. (Is it, really?)
5. It's just "what's done" (So what's your point?)
6. It's necessary. (No, it isn't, unless it's God. There is only one necessary being.)
7. I have to do this. (Are you a robot or a slave?)
Seven Good Reasons for Doing Anything
1. God loves it.
2. I love it.
3. It's good.
4. It's true.
5. It's beautiful.
6. It makes me happy.
7. It makes someone else happy.
See how simple it is to change your life?"