DAILY CATHOLIC     NEW YEAR'S ISSUE     December 29-January 3, 1999     vol. 9, no. 250

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR


          CHICAGO, 28 (NE) Meditating recently on the meaning of Christmas, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, stated that "Dr. Kevorkian steals Christmas by treating life as a collection of experiences rather than a gift." Making use of a well known children's tale in which one of the characters attempts to steal Christmas disguised as Santa Claus taking with him the presents and the food, the Archbishop of Chicago made an analogy with the well know promoter of the Euthanasia. "For us," the Archbishop added, "the great gift is Jesus, our Savior. He comes to give us new life and to remind us that all life is a gift. And that is what Dr. Kevorkian cannot understand or accept. For him, life is a possession, not a gift. And since life is only a possession, it can be disposed of when its owner so desires."

          The reality of death always puts us before the fundamental question for the meaning of our lives. "Christmas tells us the meaning of life," stated Cardinal George, "... the meaning of Christmas doesn't lie in having a lot of presents or enjoying fine food... The meaning of Christmas, instead, lies in being generous. In the eyes of faith, the meaning of life lies in being generous with one another because God is generous with us. At Christmas we discover again in Jesus that God is infinite generosity; and in God's generosity to us and our generosity to one another, we discover again the meaning of life."

          "Suicide," he added, "assisted or not, is never really an act of generosity.... The difference between killing oneself and sacrificing oneself for others is the difference between despair and hope, between fear and trust, between indifference to the bonds that unite us and love that moves us to give ourselves for others.... life is a gift which has its own cost. We accept it to share it, and in sharing it generously we discover life's meaning, although not without cost. God becomes man so that each of us can be reborn from God. In that belief, no one can steal Christmas."

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December 29-January 3, 1999       volume 9, no. 250


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