I used to mourn the close of a year—until COVID-19. Now I look forward to the passage of time only because, surely, the next year will be better than the one we’re leaving. Given that 2024 is an election year, I don’t think that’s true, but I live in hope. I also live in anticipation of the holiday season. Maybe it’s because of the hardships we’ve faced these past few years. Maybe it’s because life in this century has conditioned me to savor the quiet moments because they’ve become so rare. Regardless, I’m ready for this season of food and family.
The Christmas season, especially, is rooted in Franciscan spirituality. In 1223, St. Francis created a live Nativity at Greccio, a commune in Italy. You’ll find an article about its significance on page 28. Centuries later, I marvel at its production value. But it wasn’t designed to be a novelty. Francis simply wanted to bring the miracle of Christ’s birth to average folks. And that kind of boots-on-the-ground spiritual outreach lives on in the form of the magazine you hold in your hands right now.
For Francis, this season isn’t one to celebrate quietly but boldly, lovingly, and, if possible, with farm animals. And while we at Franciscan Media cannot provide you with the livestock needed for a proper live Nativity, we still wish each of you a blessed holiday season.
See you in 2024!