The Agony in the Mall

The Christmas shopping pressure is on. The Christmas season has become a paean to consumerism. The frenzied shopping drive used to begin before the leftover Thanksgiving turkey was eaten, but today it begins before the big bird is even cooked. Before the agony of finding the right gift, comes the agony of finding a parking space in the mall…and then the agony of standing in a long line to use your already over-extended credit card to buy something you think is dumb but you hope will let someone know you care about them. Chances are the gift you buy will be made in a factory in China or Mexico by people who are over-worked, under-paid and very hungry.

“Without trying to make of the Christian life a cult of suffering for its own sake, we must frankly admit that self-denial and sacrifice are absolutely essential to the life of prayer.”
-Thomas Merton
The Climate of Monastic Prayer


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