Christmas Message from Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

      During this holy season wherein we celebrate the Birth of Jesus, we become extremely "gift-conscious." Life is indeed one of God's greatest gifts to us, but is not thee super gift. What could be greater? Assuredly, it must be the Gift of Jesus. The Gift of Jesus is indeed one of God's great gifts, and it could even be considered as one of His choice Super Gifts. Included in this choice Super Gift are included so many other gifts such as Mary, the Church, the Holy Father and the like. Even the Gift of the Holy Spirit is included in Super Gift of Jesus for it was Jesus explicitly Who gave us the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit Who reminds us of all the things that Jesus taught and still teaches through His Church. One of these is that we are able to ask of God and if we ask, we will receive. What is it that we receive? Still other gifts. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit we will be prompted just what to ask for and that prompting will include requests for less best gifts.

      Let me offer you a special "holiday hint" and a short cut for your Christmas spiritual "wish list." If you would like to receive this very special super, colossal gift, go to Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Sincerely, from the depth of your heart, ask her to help you to ask for this gift. She will respond to you most quickly. She knows that time is short, and knows well how important it is in these troubled times for you to be directly and completely under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

      We know what it is to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, television, bad companions and the like. Why waste time with any of these if we have an opportunity to put ourselves under the influence of the Holy Spirit? No matter what, as human beings, we find a need to be under influence. Why not opt for the best gift!?! There is nothing better in all of life than to live each moment of the day and night under the loving influence of the Holy Spirit Who we celebrate in Year Two of the Holy Father's three-year countdown to Jubilee 2000. I wish you all a blessed, super, colossal Spirit-filled Christmas and a New Year that will dawn for you full of His loving influence.

Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

December 25, 1997 volume 8, no. 60         DAILY CATHOLIC