Posted by: fvbcdm | December 25, 2011

Christmas (25 Dec 2011)

It’s Christmas Day as I compose this message.  We are having telephone problems here in the priory, and of course, this weekend there is no possibility of having them repaired. So, IF you can get this message either by telephone or by computer, I want you to know that my Masses each day are for you who read or listen to this message, and for those who send prayers, good wishes, or gifts in honor of the birth of Our Divine Lord.     

As I celebrate this Christmas, my thoughts go back sixty-one years, to the Christmas of the year 1950.  I had enlisted in the Navy in October and was in boot camp at the Naval Training Center in San Diego.  I had joined the choir of our Catholic chapel there and sang whenever I could.  So, on Christmas Eve, I got a couple of hours’ sleep and then went to the chapel for midnight Mass.  All during Mass, I felt itchy and very dry.  My eyes began to burn.  So after the Mass, I returned to my barracks and took a shower which, I thought, would make me feel better.  When I undressed, I realized that my body was all splotchy and dotted with red.  There was an epidemic of measles in the camp, and I had contracted it!  So I went to bed to try to sleep until morning, and then packed what I needed and went to the sick bay to check in.  I was kept there until December 30, when I was discharged and allowed to return to my barracks and the normal routine.  It was not one of my more memorable Christmases.

However, one of my boot camp buddies had a car, and on New Year’s Day a group of us drove to the nearby coastal town of La Jolla where we had a nice New Year’s Day dinner, walked along the rocky beach, and enjoyed the balmy south California winter day.  That seems like a LONG time ago, but those memories of my Christmas measles and New Year’s Day in La Jolla when I was 21 years old are still fresh in my mind even though I can barely remember what I did yesterday. 

A blessed Christmas to you, and much peace, joy, and prosperity in the new year that begins a week from today. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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