Remember the lonely and the lost…

Today is Christmas, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. For many people it is a happy day, a time for family gatherings with lots of food and gifts and good times with memories to last.

For others, not so much.

Remember those who are lost today. Those who are lonely, have no family, or if they do, are estranged from them. Those who wander about with no hope.

Remember those who are homeless.

Remember those who are jobless and have to endure the humiliation of that state when they gather with family. Being unemployed anytime is horrible enough, but around the holidays it can be particularly embarrassing and humiliating. The personal degradation that you feel while among family members and they know you are out of work. They look at you, speak to you…

Remember those who have to work today…

Remember those who are just going through a rough time; a time of transition and change. The worst Christmas I ever had was ten years ago, Christmas Day 2005. My Mom had died in early November and just before Christmas the executor of her estate informed me that I had to get out of the house (I had been living with Mom for the previous ten years) so the estate can move forward with the sale. I suppose that if I had thought about it at the time I might have coped better, being forced to move might have made me meditate and ponder on the homelessness and wanderings of the Holy Family as they were on the move for the census mandated by the Emperor. Not to put my situation on a par with theirs at all, but the issue could have been handled with far more compassion.

But the executor had little use for compassion and understanding as they are merely baggage that reminds one of your own humanity.

And so after being told that I had to leave within thirty days, I drove about the county in a suicidal mood. The roads were icy and snowy and I was seeking out an appropriate place to ditch the car with me in it in a fatal accident. The “eviction” was the last straw; having been a punching bag for the executor and held with cold indifference by certain other family members was enough. This nearly broke me. I did have the presence of mind to call my priest who “just happened to know someone” who might have an apartment to rent. He did, and so I spent Christmas Day 2005 moving, hauling carload after carload of possessions across town. Alone, just me, as there was no one available to assist.

I knew “aloneness.”

I apologize for the downer post on Christmas, but perhaps you can spend a few moments thinking about those who are spending Christmas in a situation not at all similar to a warm and rosy holiday setting. Offer something up to help them cope.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"


  1. Thanks for post. It helps put my own “suffering ” in perspective. I recently lost my mom and have been in a downward suicidal spiral. However I am blessed to have a wife that has been patient and supportive. Even tonight we had our 2 foster daughters here will our own daughter. Even in the pain, I can say thank you to God. Your story of Chtistmas eviction alone really touched my heart – deeply at that. And you have this amazing blog and minister to so many people. Thank you….By the way – this is day 2 clean and sober. The withdrawals are difficult but I was still tremendously blessed today. Your post today helped me to see that.

    • Congrats on the 2 days clean and sober! Keep it up!

      One thing that I didn’t know at first when my Mom died was that there is grief counseling available. I had previously thought that it was only for those who had to cope with deaths from a disaster, terror attack, etc., but they’re available for more “common and ordinary” deaths like that of parents, spouses, children…. It helped me tremendously. I noted several commonalities in griefwork with recovery work. AA helped me a little, but I owe my survival to some excellent grief counselors and other individuals in counseling with me.

      See if there’s a hospice or bereavement center or some such place that offers one-on-one or group counseling near wherever you live. It might even be free. Otherwise, there’s a wealth of grief books available, including for loss of one’s Mom.

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