“Prabhupäda: Yes. Now what is that bird who is killed in Christmas?
Devotees: Turkey.
Prabhupäda: Turkey, you see. Now, Christmas, God’s Christmas, Jesus Christ. He said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But his birthday is observed by killing, killing, killing, killing, killing.”

“[Circular Letter, Advent-Christmas, 1967] The times are difficult. They call for courage and faith. Faith is in the end a lonely virtue. Lonely especially where a deep authentic community of love is not an accomplished fact, but a job to be begun over and over… Love is not something we get from Mother Church as a child gets milk from the breast: it also has to be given. We don’t get love if we don’t give any.

“Christmas, then, is not just a sweet regression to breast-feeding and infancy. It is a serious and sometimes difficult feast. Difficult especially if, for psychological reasons, we fail to grasp the indestructible kernel of hope that is in it. If we are just looking for a little consolation-we may be disappointed.”

Thomas Merton. The Road to Joy, Robert E. Daggy, editor (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989): 108.

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