The title of a recently released Fox News article is “Troops in Afghanistan celebrate Christmas in (the) company of EACH OTHER” (Web-site/URL: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/12/25/pope-lights-christmas-peace-candle-on-windowsill-his-vatican-studio/).
According to U.S. soldier Vanessa Gann, “I WISH I could be home with my family and friends, but, I mean, I am surrounded by nothing but AWESOME people, so IT’S GOOD“. For once, we have a “good” or POSITIVE comment.
“Others traveled to Vatican City, where Pope Benedict XVI delivered his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” speech — Latin for “to the city and the world” — from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to thousands of pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered in the piazza below”.
“Benedict wished Christmas peace to the world, DECRYING the SLAUGHTER of the “defenseless” in Syria and urging Israelis and Palestinians to find the courage to NEGOTIATE (?)” There is NO DOUBT that Syrian civilians are “defenseless” and THERE IS LITTLE IF ANY “negotiating” going on between Israelis and Palestinians right now.
“In his homily, Benedict cited the Gospel account of Mary and Joseph finding no room at an inn and ending up in a stable which sheltered the baby Jesus. He urged people to reflect upon what they find time for in their busy,TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN lives“. Our “lives” ARE CERTAINLY “technology-driven”. It seems like we can’t live without COMPUTERS, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, SMART PHONES and TABLETS these days. “The great moral question of our attitude toward the homeless, toward refugees and migrants takes on a deeper dimension: Do we really have room for God when he seeks to enter under our roof? Do we have time and space for him?” So the Pope is urging TOLERANCE, something that is in short supply these days..
“The pope worried that “we are so ‘FULL‘ of ourselves that there is no room left for God”.’full’ of themselves”, of course, = ARROGANT a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “He added, “that means there is no room for others either — for children, for the poor, (and) for the stranger”.
“In his annual pre-Christmas homily, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, said this year’s (2012) festivities were DOUBLY joyful“. More specifically, Twal, “a Palestinian citizen of Jordan, speaking “at the patriarchate’s headquarters in Jerusalem’s Old City”, “The path (to statehood) remains long and will require a UNITED (?) front“. IS ANYTHING “united” these days? It sure seems like people are trying to TAKE EACH OTHER’s HEADS OFF in many cases.
“After nightfall on Monday (December 24, 2012), a packed Manger Square, resplendent with strings of lights, decorations and a 17-meter Christmas tree, took on a festival atmosphere”.
“A choral group from the Baptist Church in Jerusalem performed carols on one side of the square, handing out sheets of lyrics and encouraging others to sing along with songs such as “We Wish You A Merry Christmas“.
“Audra Kasparian, 45, from Salt Lake City, Utah, called her visit to Bethlehem “a life event to cherish forever. It is one of those events that is GREAT to be a part of“.
Finally, “Elias Joha, a 44-year-old Christian who runs a souvenir store, said even with the U.N. recognition, this year’s (2012) celebrations were SAD for him. He said most of his family has left, and that if he had the opportunity, he would do the same”. “These celebrations are not even for Christians because there are NO Christians. It is going from bad to worse from ALL sides … we ARE NOT enjoying Christmas as before” because soldiers are away from their families. OK. This is understandable.
This is yet another article/analysis where the conclusion is easy. “Troops in Afghanistan celebrate Christmas in (the) company of each other”. Well, this is the next best thing for people who DON’T get to/CAN’T be with their family and friends for the holidays.