Thoughts for December 6 (St Nicholas of Myra) from Fr Willie Doyle
St Nicholas of Myra

I want you to make a greater effort to see the hand of God in everything that happens, and then to force or train yourself to rejoice in His holy will. For example, you want a fine day for some reason and it turns out wet. Don’t say, “Oh, hang it!” but give our Lord a loving smile and say: “Thank You, my God, for this disappointment.” This will help you to keep down impatience, irritability, etc., when people annoy you. Then when some hard trial is past, look back on it, see how you ought to have taken it, and resolve to act that way in future.

COMMENTS: The great spiritual writers recommend that we try to live constantly in the presence of God at all times, and see all things as coming from His hands and as a manifestation of His will for us at that moment. Such a mentality helps us to overcome passing feelings of sadness and disappointment.

Blessed Columba Marmion once wrote (unfortunately I cannot find the exact quote) that we are often sad because we think too much about ourselves, and not enough about Christ who loves us and dwells within our soul.

Today is also the feast of St Nicholas of Myra, the inspiration for Santa Claus. Let us remember this great saint today. He is badly mistreated and neglected in our modern culture, and his reputation is abused in an effort to sell material things at this time of year.

St Nicholas is known as a great intercessor for material and financial concerns. In these tough times we can have recourse to him in our temporal needs. There is nothing wrong with doing this, so long as we act with detachment and do not seek his help from a selfish or materialistic motivation. Indeed, St Nicholas himself was notoriously generous with his resources (hence the development of the Santa Claus character), so we may also pray to him for the grace of detachment.

We should also seek his prayers at this time of economic crisis around the world, especially in Ireland where citizens have had to endure the 5th harsh “austerity” budget in a row, in Europe generally which is mired in debt and in the United States which faces a “fiscal cliff”. May we be spared the real possibility of economic disaster and all of the instability with which such disasters tend to be accompanied.

Here is a video which may help us to remember the true St Nicholas.