My desire for you

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Jinotepe, Nicaragua
Hello, friends! I hope this story reaches you well and that God touch you in the depths of your heart. All we need to do is open them and our world CHANGES! Blessings, Pat.

December 23, 2009

Who stole the Baby Jesus from Christmas?

Peace and greetings to all!

Dear Jesus,

Sadly, it appears that Santa Claus, or someone out there, robbed you from Christmas a long time ago. It is head spinning to see what Christmas has become.

I know for sure that Christmas was not like it is now when my grandparents were growing up, because they never stopped telling me. Nor would they have allowed any one to rob the Christ child from the crib, as has happened in our day.

This is the biggest crime of the Century, but since sex is not involved no one is paying attention. I personally think this crime is a very serious offence to my faith as a Christian, and even more so as an (Irish) Catholic. I really believe that we have to organize to get you , the baby Jesus, back into the heart of Christmas, even if it be a handful of crazy people, who take their faith seriously and joined Advent Conspiracy.

For me, this relatively new movement is what I would call a new Christian + Catholic conversion experience with an old theme; the sort of conversion experience that all the Prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus himself, were extremely passionate about, the conversion of the heart.

Some might ask why do we need a “new conversion experience” as a people in the United States, after all we are the most generous in the world. I would say, for a starter, that we need a new conversion experience because our young people are being spiritually assassinated by a materialistic - consumerist society gone completely out of control.

While I was visiting a Guatemalan friend in Nashville, I took my wife and son to the Gran Ole Opery Mall (just to let the kid run around some where) and it was so big we got lost. While I tried to find my way out of there, I saw hundreds of advertisements with happy faces of families, super well dressed young people and sexy skinny models everywhere. But, when I looked at the face of most of the people there, quiet honestly I did not see that many happy faces.

I have no doubt that in the midst of all the “worlds’ crisis’s” in the economy, in our morality, on our planet and in our families, God is calling us to change. Gods will is for us to re-focus the core of our relationships with one another, in every aspect of life and society on a global level. This confirms what I have learnt from Theologians and Christians in Latin America; we have to choose between the God of Life and the God of $. If we really, really read the Scriptures, like you did, it is clear there is no middle ground on this issue, but in our Country few have the courage to preach the way you lived and taught.

Over my 16 years in Latin America, I have also seen (as you did in Nazareth) how too little material wealth destroys human life, erodes even the most basic human goodness, evaporates simple honesty and creates a culture of corruption and survival at any cost. I see this every day in Nicaragua and it is very sad and disturbing to me. You saw the same thing in the Religious leaders of the Holy Temple of your day.

On the other hand, when I come home during “Christmas time” or really any time, I see how too much affluence and money clearly destroys the soul and those around it. I see this in my own loved ones. This all seems to happen without people even really knowing what is going on.

As a good friend of mine, Fr. Patrick Clark, who has been living in Sao Paulo, Brazil and working for 30 years in the slums wrote to me in a recent email about this same issue: “the agenda of the consumer society … I am sure is one of the root causes of most depression, neurosis and compulsivity that currently plague our planet, and one of the main casualties of which is the impoverishment of all spiritual life. In a way, it is quite easy to see how the life of faith does not flourish in the mass consumer emporia that we have created in the Western world. It is, as you so rightly say, a place where values, faith and the soul itself, are destroyed.

Here in the third world, where the poor are forever reminding you that they are there and that you live in isolation from them at your spiritual peril, you have some chance of being awakened to the depths of your Christian calling. But what if no one ever knocks on your door? What if when they do, all you can do or say is to get angry because they have disturbed your peace? That private peace that is your hard won ~right~ which no one can disturb. Then, if that is your way of life, shored up by an obsessively individualistic culture of ego needs that can be instantaneously met, you are surely on the road to spiritual and even human bankruptcy. And what of the gospel? How can it be preached in such a place?

The hope, for me, is there are so many people who are preaching the Gospel by their example. They understand the life and death issue that this choice implies, and for me, this has everything to do with living our Christian - Catholic Faith to fullest.


If a few people organized and planed the hijacking of the baby Jesus from Christmas, then you don’t need allot of people to take him back; you just need a few people who have a lot of faith! That is how you move mountains, not with numbers, but with FAITH!

Jesus, I hope that you get your rightful place back in the center of our homes and hearts this Christmas!

And may you please come knocking on my door and give me the courage to open it wide!

Patrick T. Duffy, Jr.
Charles de Foucauld Lay Missionary

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