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Christmas In A Prison Cell

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For a Christian there is nothing peculiarly difficult about Christmas in a prison cell. I daresay it will have more meaning and be observed with greater sincerity here in this prison than in places where all that survives of the feast is its name. The misery, suffering, poverty, loneliness, helplessness and guilt look very different to the eyes of God from what they do to [human beings], that God should come down to the very place where [people] usually abhor, that Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for him in the inn -- these are things which prisoners can understand better than anyone else.  For the prisoner the Christmas story is glad tidings in a very real sense. And that faith gives a prisoner a part in the communion of saints, a fellowship transcending the bounds of time and space and reducing the months of confinement here to insignificance.

 

---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted in, LITURGY WITH STYLE AND GRACE by Gabe Huck and Gerald T. Chinchar. (Archdiocese of Chicago, Liturgy Training Publications, 1998, page 97. Paper, ISBN 1-56854-186-4.

 

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