I watched and listened to the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Doyle, on Fox and Friends on Friday, and it may have been the most impressive few minutes I have ever witnessed from any member of the Catholic Clergy. He was on the show to deliver his Christmas message and deliver he did. The Cardinal is an impressive individual with the gift of Irish charm, a spiritual presence, and a mastery of the spoken word. The Church could not have a better individual in the most incredible parish in the most visible dioceses in America. On this morning, Cardinal Doyle hit the mark with a mini-sermon that nailed the tone of America and what we crave so strongly from our Religious and Political leaders. It was a one-minute oration that melded the spirit of hope and the dire state of America and America’s people. It was perfect.
The Cardinal described the meaning and symbolism of Christmas. In a voice that spoke to your heart and soul, he told of how Christmas is the celebration of Light and how we celebrate the birth of Jesus, which shined a light on Bethlehem and the entire world. A light that exposed the darkness at the time of the birth of Jesus and the darkness that has engulfed us all for the last few years. It is not the place for the Cardinal to get political, but he talked about the depth of despair and darkness the world had sunk into with the pandemic and that the people of America have felt for the last few years. He talked about light equating to hope, the critical element needed in a country as fractured and divided as today’s America. The Cardinal’s words could not have been so timely, powerful, and needed.
We know how polarized the country has become. The pandemic changed this country dramatically and showed how much the government can exert its control. The effect of COVID was seen in how Americans lost their need and desire to socialize and how the young became more dependent on their electronic devices than human interaction. We have seen the weaponization of our government agencies against everyday Americans, specifically Conservatives. We watch the endless line of illegals penetrate our Border, and the Administration tells us that the Border is secure. We watch 100,000 young men and women killed by Fentanyl, and the Administration tells us the flow of illegal Fentanyl has been curbed. We see tent cities grow in major cities and then watch these people be swept off to a neighboring city when the Chinese President comes to town. We have lost confidence in an Administration that has lied to us far too often. We are tired of the treatment and demand better.
I listened to Cardinal Dolan explain that it is up to us to find our way to the light. We must dig down and not rely on the government to make us happy. We must rely on ourselves and each other to bring us the inner peace we require. We may disagree with our neighbors, but we can still love them. We must stop our dependence on a government that does not want to help but control us. We must take control of our journey.
So, as the light of the season shines on each of us, I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope and pray for us to be in a better place in 2024.