No matter how much you may love Christmas, seeing decorations in the stores before the Halloween candy has even been cleared out can definitely dampen your spirits. Every year, the season feels to be more and more commercialized, and our holiday season becomes more frantic as we get caught up in making it the best, most perfect holiday ever. If this all sounds exhausting, then Thomas Moore’s latest book, The Soul of Christmas, might be just the thing to cure what ails you.
Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Christmas
Publisher: Franciscan Media
Publication Date: September 30, 2016
Hardcover: 160 Pages
With his trademark blend of storytelling, faith, and psychological insight, New York Times bestselling author Thomas Moore turns his poetic attention to the most enduring story of them all: the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Carefully and lovingly, he looks at passages from the Gospels, both canonical and non-canonical, comparing them to archetypal stories and ancient myths in order to understand his own beliefs and to gaze in wonder at the Holy Child.
Christmas, says Moore, belongs to everyone. It has meaning only as a plan for the entire human race. Christmas shouldn’t be sentimentalized or turned into consumer frenzy: “The child lying in the manger is perhaps the most radical of all spiritual reformers.”
The Christ Child reminds us of the infinite possibilities of life available to us, and we celebrate that vitality in the season of good cheer, gift-giving, and community. Christmas also offers an opportunity to get in touch with our own mystical side, to recreate the Nativity in our hearts. “If we could but mix just a small measure of the child’s naïveté with an intelligent appreciation of the traditional Christmas symbols, myths, and images,” Moore asserts, “we might be surprised at the profundity.” The enchantment of Christmas is a taste of what is possible if human beings could really love each other. The infant in the manger symbolizes new life, the potential all human beings have to be a new kind of being dedicated to agape, a love of the other—whoever that “other” may be.
This may be the most profound reflection on the meaning of Christmas in a generation.
I fell in love with Thomas Moore’s book Care of the Soul years ago, so I was quite anxious to read his approach to bringing Christmas back to its meaning in a world that is increasingly commercialized in his recently released The Soul of Christmas. I was not disappointed.
What a balm for the soul! When you find that you are highlighting lines on every other page (as I did), you know a writer is speaking to you. Moore offers his view for restoring the magic of Christmas and striking a balance with the holiday’s trappings (gift giving, the Christmas tree, etc) and the spirit of Christmas. Moore offers up a thoughtful discussion of why Christmas CAN be for everyone, regardless of faith.
What I appreciate most is his take on balancing it all – our need for the mystical, magical aspects of it wrapped up in our own faith. If you are searching to bring the chaos in your holiday into perspective, this is the book you need.
I know I’m going to have a better, hopeful and spiritual approach to the holiday season this year.