Christmas is a feast full of nostalgia. Peace is what we sing about, but we do not know how to make it happen. We look for happiness, but it seems ever more difficult to be happy. We buy each other gifts, but what we need is tenderness and affection. We sing to a God who is a child, but in our hearts, faith lies extinguished. Life is not what we would like it to be, but we do not know how to make it better.
Christmas is not the only thing we think about this way. Our whole life is seeded with nostalgia. Nothing entirely satisfies us. No wealth can bring us total peace. No love responds entirely to our deepest desires. There is no profession that can entirely satisfy our aspirations. It is not possible to be loved by all.
Nostalgia can have very positive effects. It allows us to discover that our desires reach further than what we can possess or enjoy today. It helps us to keep open the horizon of our existence to something greater and more complete than anything we know.
At the same time, it teaches us not to ask of life what it cannot give us, not to hope for from relationships what they cannot provide. Nostalgia does not permit us to remain tied down to this world.
It is easy to slip into a kind of life where the desire for the infinite that lies hidden in our being remains suppressed. We enclose ourselves in a shell that makes us insensitive to whatever lies beyond what we see and touch. The feast of Christmas celebrated with nostalgia creates a different atmosphere: these days we experience a stronger sense of home and security. One hardly gets in touch with one’s heart, when he/she senses that the mystery of God is our ultimate destiny.
If one is a believer, faith invites him/her to discover this mystery, not in a strange inaccessible country, but in a newly born child. This is how simple and incredible it all is. We have to approach God the way we approach a child: softly, without a noise: without solemn speeches, but with simple words that come from the heart. We encounter God when we open ourselves out to him with the best we have in us.
In spite of the frivolous and superficial atmosphere created in our society, Christmas can bring us closer to God. At least, if we live it with a simple faith and a pure heart.
by José Antonio Pagola