Carlo Maratta or Maratti (13 May 1625 – 15 December 1713) was an Italian painter, active mostly in Rome, and known principally for his classicizing paintings executed in a Late Baroque Classical manner.

Nobody really knows the actual day when Jesus was born. Some believe he was just a mythical character. And then others like Northrop Frye suggest that minimally, there is a kind of mythic ‘truth’ in his story.

Myself, I believe that a man called Jesus (the Greco-Roman version of his name) was born. Just exactly who he was is hard to say.

Some Christian mystics say one must have the mystery of the Trinity personally revealed to fully get it. This makes sense to me, the Trinity being such an elusive and often criticized teaching.

Some who don’t sympathize say, “How can three persons (The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit) be one God?” “Surely this is not monotheism!”

Well, I leave it to the theologians to defend Christian dogma. I don’t feel that’s my strong suit and words alone rarely convince anyone. More important to me is how I feel when I invest my being into different spiritual pathways. And after dabbling in many paths, mine is Catholic Christian but with my own opinions about how that faith group should move in the future.

For those who see Christ as a nice guy who happened to fall on the wrong side of the political fence, that’s fine. But I invite you to at least consider, for a moment, the idea that he really is the Messiah.

I spent years supposing that he wasn’t. And my personal experience corresponded to that belief. When I began to consider the possibility that he was the Messiah, a whole new vista opened up. Actually, there were experiences along the way that guided me in that direction. It wasn’t just an arbitrary decision to try believing in something. But to describe the complexities of my path would be a book—and this is just a short blog entry.

Whatever you believe, I wish you a very Merry and Holy Christmas. Interpret the Jesus story as you will. But again, I invite you to stay open to taking Christmas a bit more deeply than Santa Claus, Bing Crosby and the Sugar Plum Fairy!

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