Thursday, December 6, 2012

Will the real Santa Claus please intercede for us

The first time I walked in to St Peter's Basilica when we got to the tomb of Pope Innocent XI a friend I was with quipped,"Santa under glass". Indeed he was laid out in a red suit with white trim that any American child would associate with Santa including a red hat with white trim (no black belt or boots). As a matter of fact Pope Benedict XVI brought back the hat called a camauro.

It strikes me, however, that as we celebrate this first week of Advent, focused on the second coming of Christ, the most important part of the story that the Santa Claus narrative has right is that the real St. Nicholas is still alive. It's why we canonized him because we believe he participates even now in external life. And in terms of going to him and asking for presents, what greater gift can we have than intercessory prayer. St. Nicholas and all the saints care about the rest of us and continue to pray for us, just as we are called to pray for others now.

To deny the intercession of the saints would be to suggest that they die, go to heaven, and once there say,"I got my reward. To heck with all of you down there."

You may not be able to sit on Santa's lap, but we can all turn in our needs to St. Nicholas today, and ask for his intercession.

St. Nicholas, pray for us.