01/12/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Holiday Reflections: The Exquisite Nature of Faith: The Constrasts and Challenges of Reality

Holiday Reflections: The Exquisite Nature of Faith: The Contrasts and Challenges of Reality

"Silent Night"

Bloodshed all over the world: bombs, explosions, innocents suffering, inexplicable deaths

"Holy Night"

Ruthless killers, living in impotent ignorance, oblivious to suffering, unreachable in large part because they have been denied thought, expression, any semblance of a sane existence

"All is calm"

Children of all faiths screaming in terror for their parents to comfort them

"All is bright"

Days and nights turning white and orange and red with explosion and maiming and the smell of hate and murder

"Round yon virgin"

Women all over the world who cannot feed their children or bring them medical care

"Mother and child"

Women and children bought like cattle, forced to beg or enter prostitution

"Holy infant"

Millions of infants and children suffering, starving, dieing

"So tender and mild"

Loving faces aching to be cared for, until pain and neglect remove all affect

"Sleep in heavenly peace"

Death for too many, the only comfort

"Sleep in heavenly peace"

Union of prayer and community, urgently needed, a true power for change