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I love Christmas. I love the way time seems to stand still for a few hours while we gather with family and loved ones. I love the games, the carols, and the food. Nothing makes me happier than having our children all together; listening to their laughter and watching them savour this season. Through family and friends, through my husband and children, I know that I have been richly blessed.

But this is not a happy season for everyone. When I look beyond the happy celebrations that I anticipate in the coming days, I see a world torn by pain, conflict and injustice. This week in my medical practice I’ve had poignant conversations with people facing depression, disease or discord. As I experience the most joyful parts of this Christmas celebration, it is mixed with a deep awareness of those who face hurt and hardship right now.

My prayer this Christmas is for peace. Peace in our homes. Peace in our workplaces. Peace in a world where the concept seems impossible. In my own small circle of influence, I want to be a channel of that peace. This desire is beautifully expressed in the poem attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. This is my Christmas prayer.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”


At Christmas and always, I wish you peace.

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