Christmas reflection by Steve Jalsevac
TORONTO, December 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com ) – In the morning before Christmas Eve I was interviewed for an hour by a local Catholic radio station. We discussed the importance of LifeSiteNews and looked ahead to the challenges of 2009.
The interviewer was a passionate LifeSiteNews fan, and like so many others said he does not miss a day of reading our daily reports and greatly relies on them to understand current events in the world. Entirely on his own initiative, he encouraged his listeners to respond to our Christmas fundraising campaign.
As the interview continued, I realized more than ever, that there is no other work that I would rather be doing. It became especially clear to me then that LifeSiteNews has been a blessing to my life and that of my family, even though it has involved much hardship.
That morning I was also reassured that LifeSiteNews is truly a mission of service to God. It has changed people’s lives, and while we do report many disturbing (as well as positive) stories, LifeSiteNews presents the good news about what is really important in this short life and the true role of every person in that life.
In the second half hour of the program, the interviewer was disturbed and worried about my comments on what is likely to occur in 2009, which I said will certainly be the most challenging year in many decades for those who treasure life, family and faith. However, I explained why we do not become discouraged about the things we report. In fact, we love our work,
Christmas is above all a sign of what really matters and of real significance and what we should be focusing our attention upon. Our hope cannot be in ourselves, or others, or in the developments of the day in the world. Our writers have come to accept that all that happens – no matter how terrible – is for a good reason.
The great economic crisis is God’s way of bringing us back to our senses and away from the hugely destructive path that most of the developed world is now upon.
I noted to the interviewer that almost everyone has an unease about the current state of the world. Most people sense that seemingly insurmountable calamities are looming over us as a result of the severe disorders in society. We are due for a great correction and not just in the economic sense. The economy is only reflecting a much deeper, long term social and spiritual disorder.
Our attitude at LifeSiteNews is that such a correction is a necessary and good thing, despite the economic and other hardships that will accompany it. It is a gift, a very necessary means to turn us away from our social, economic and above all, spiritual self-destruction.
It is therefore important to be aware of the real facts and significance of all the developments in order to determine individual personal courses of action.
In the end, there is no problem in life that cannot be corrected or at least endured by people and societies that are built on the solid foundation of authentic Christian faith and by people of other faiths who share some of those same religious principles.
Grace can overcome seemingly unstoppable evils and confound the great powers of the world, as it often has in the past. That is why totalitarian forces have always targeted Christian believers above all. They know and fear the potential power that would be unleashed should the Christians wake from their periodic slumbers of indifference and lukewarm practice of faith or even outright rejection of belief, as is occurring now.
LifeSiteNews reports are produced by writers, and an organization that have a solid faith and philosophical foundation. We look long term. Our goal is not to produce a profit or to build our egos or a personal empire. Ours is a mission of truth and of service – for the good of the world.
There is no security in working for LifeSiteNews. Our funding is always uncertain. We have no pensions. Most of us have very little in the way of personal savings, if any at all. In my case I have suffered a heart attack and experience periodic clinical depression, mostly just because of the volume and physical stress of this often overwhelming work. But I passionately love the work and do not suffer from dark or pessimistic moods because of it. I do trust in God’s grace, as do all our staff.
I have been blessed in numerous ways in my now over 20 years of full-time pro-life work. I am blessed with an awesome wife, eight wonderful children and two grand children with two more on the way. We live reasonably comfortably in our own home. We have many challenges, but no more than most people.
So, by giving up much and dedicating my life to this work of zero worldly security and very little worldly recognition, I have actually lost nothing and gained everything. Somehow, we have always been looked after, often when we did not know how we would manage in the days ahead. It is quite mysterious. My wife and I often marvel at God’s providence and are still surprised (although we shouldn’t be) every time it is manifested in our lives.
It is no accident of course that the Christ child was born in a simple manger and later grew in a simple home and worked as a carpenter. His life was a witness to true greatness – the greatness of doing God’s will, being humbly dependent upon God’s grace and not worrying about what is to come, but living each moment for the gift that it is, regardless of what that moment brings.
That is our life in this pro-life mission and I hope many of you will join with us, in your own personal way, in abandoning yourselves to the truths revealed in Bethlehem. By responding in that way to the trials and worries of each day I assure you that your life will be a rewarding one. It will still be difficult, but the difficulties will not so disturbing. They will instead become opportunities for grace, for growth and to prepare you to be of even greater help to others.
I love Christmas because of its strong affirmation of the work that we do at LifeSiteNews. The child in the manger and the Holy Family represent all that we stand for – the sacredness of life, family, truth, trust in God alone and His divine providence. It is all really so very simple and yet so profound.