If Christmas was sad or lonely for you this year, please read this. And know that although I am incapable of easing your pain, there are people like Canadian Juanita Dueck, who wrote that beautiful piece, and others out there who have kept you in their thoughts and prayers.

Strangely today it’s 54 degrees in South Bend. Margy and I are leaving in a moment to walk our two dogs to visit the Grotto. Our visit today will be for everyone whose Christmas “celebration” totally stunk. The Blessed Mother comforted her Son while he was actually being tortured and executed. This kind of comforting is her specialty. She likes to comfort people who are hurting, if they just let her.

Our prayer today is what we can do for you. But you can do something for yourself: Take your pain, your disappointment, your loneliness to Christ. Tell him how much it hurts and ask Him in His mercy if He could take your suffering and do something beautiful with it. He will.

I did something similar once – more than 25 years ago – with His mother. I was almost crazy with emotional pain. Shaking. Hardly able to think. Wishing I had never been born. I told her that I was so broken that I’d just accept any further painful outcome, but could she please, please, please, please, please just take away the pain. I felt like a little boy with skinned knees, chipped tooth and a bloody nose and elbows, running to his mother and tugging on her dress after a horrible accident. I then fell asleep in my bed. I woke up a bit later and miraculously, all the pain was gone. Dramatically gone.This did not happen in a subtle way. It was noticed by my family and friends alike and it forever altered the course of my life.

Try it. It can’t hurt.