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by Lawrence Ferlinghetti from his A Coney Island of the Mind published in 1958

Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where there were no rootless Christmas trees hung with candy canes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where no intrepid Bible salesmen covered the territory in two-tone cadillacs and where no Sears Roebuck cribs complete with plastic babe in manger arrived by parcel post the babe by special delivery and where no televised Wise Men praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where no Bing Crosby carollers groaned of a tight Christmas and where no Radio City angels ice-skated wingless thru a winter wonderland into a jingle bell heaven daily at 8:30 with Midnight Mass matinees

Take me into your silence,

far from the noise

and the agitation of the world.

Into a silence

where my being finds itself

in its truth, in its nakedness, in its poverty,

because this silence

allows me to discover

my very self.


“There were thousands of babies born that day all helpless, dependent,

needful of love, warmth and sustenance; some no doubt did not survive to see another dawn, their tiny light extinguished through lack of appropriate care.

Some would grow up to be kings, queens, leaders; others slaves, prostitutes, beggars, murderers and thieves.

Most however would live ordinary lives among ordinary people, and live and die whilst the world scarce noticed their existence.

But not You, who rose from the ordinary to the extraordinary; from stable to cross and beyond,

whilst the world tried its best to ignore you,

and failed.” John Birch

Lord, give to us:

the unquestioning faith of Mary,

the tolerance of Joseph,

the patience of the donkey,

the kindness of the innkeeper,

the reverence of the oxen,

the joy of the angels,

the excitement of the shepherds,

the perseverance of the wise men

May the Holy Child of Bethlehem,

sent by God to enlighten the world

shine through us in word and action.

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