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Cardinal Dolan Says Christmas This Year Is Somber, Bittersweet

Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick's Cathedral (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that this year, there is definitely something different about Christmas.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

Pointing to superstorm Sandy and the massacre in Newtown, Dolan called it a rather somber Christmas.

“One thing, though, that the tragedy of Sandy, and the tragedy of Sandy Hook has taught us, is how we all rally around kids. Whenever our kids are threatened, whether that be our kids’ homes wrecked, our schools closed and destroyed because of the hurricane, or the sadness and the violence of sandy hook, it reminds us how our heart goes out when our kids are in danger, and, I think, in a way, that’s why God chose to come to us as a baby,” Dolan told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Dolan said Christmas is so tender because there’s no better way for God to tell us how close he is to us then by becoming a baby.

“There’s nothing more vulnerable or frail or fragile or innocent or poor than a little baby and that’s why Christmas is so tender,” Dolan said.

Despite the destruction and horror of recent events, Dolan said there is reason to hope.

“With the eyes of faith, we see life as a dawn. We find ourselves at a dawn, a lot of somberness, still a lot of darkness of the night. The night is not over, but yet just breaking through barely is the light, the radiance, the hope, the promise of a new day,” Dolan said.

What about the gift giving of the holiday?

“Sometimes religious leaders, we wring our hands and we say ‘Oh there’s too much buying. It’s to mercantile. We’re stressing the material side.’ What I’m grateful for is that it shows the giving, generosity  sharing are at the heart of Christmas because, why? How appropriate. How providential. Because Christmas celebrates the most sublime gift of all – the gift of God himself to us,” Dolan said.

Dolan said that gift is meant to be unwrapped and brought into our homes.

Dolan will celebrate Midnight Mass tonight at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, reserved ticket holders only.

How are you feeling about Christmas this year? Share your story below.