In a strange twist of reality, a YMCA in Manhattan has decided to let their Christian roots shine -- which is not the take of most who have reported on this story. In a world that sees Santa Claus as nothing more than a secular figure, the McBurney Center YMCA on 14th St. in Manhattan has deemed the Cheery Old Elf to be too politically incorrect, thus, assigning to him religious significance. That's a bold move in today's society. I thought only Catholics understood the religious connection of secular Santa to the canonized St. Nicholas.
I actually have to commend the 14th St. YMCA in Manhattan for making it crystal clear [snow pun absolutely intended] that Santa Claus is indeed a religious figure. If a Christian organization finds it difficult to honor a Saint because of a difference in doctrine, then they should take Santa off their agenda. He doesn't suit those who have dropped the veneration of the Saints, and the YMCA is simply being compliant to their religious perspective. There is nothing wrong with that. They are just protecting their children from a "Popish" celebration. Obviously, it is not about offending anyone, or anything but their own sensibilities! [tongue in cheek for sure]
I was just at a novena reflection for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception given by a wonderful priest who challenged each of us to reclaim our Catholic Holy-days: Feast of St. Nicholas, Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Halloween (All Hallows Eve). These are holidays with a strong and important Christian connotation. They are derived specifically from the Tradition of the Catholic Church and have been celebrated for centuries as part of the Liturgical Year. But, these Holy Days have been co-opted by the culture and secularized, their religious ties all but forgotten. Now, thanks to the 14th St. YMCA in Manhattan, we may actually regain the veneration our Good Saint Nicholas, who was a great defender of the Faith and suffered much for Mother Church.
Advent Blessings to All!