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December 14, 2022


Have you ever been
to a midnight mass
in a Catholic church
on Christmas Eve?
Have you ever smelled
the clove-like incense,
heard the choir sing O Holy Night,
seen the red poinsettias
lining the altar and
spilling into the vestibule?
is more festive
or joyful
during this season,
when true believers
adore a child,
who with his life,
will one day
save the souls of men.
Candle flames
bend light shadows
onto stained glass windows
where biblical allegories
chronicle lives
of prophets, disciples,
and God himself
in colors as rich and vibrant
as the stories they tell.

Have you ever been
to midnight mass
in a Catholic Church
on Christmas Eve?
In the nave,
wooden pews
polished to a high gloss,
scented with lemon oil,
fill with the faithful.
No strangers here
on this night
when young and old,
rich and poor
sit shoulder to shoulder
awed by the pageantry
and beauty.
This night is about
hope for the future.
Joy abounds and
it is almost possible to believe
that there can be peace on earth and
that men really do
bear goodwill towards other men.
Almost possible,
because in this place
on this night
light defeats darkness
and there is no room for despair
even though
we know how the story ends.