Goodwill Toward Men – Christmas Present


“And on earth peace, goodwill toward men”

Memories of Christmas pasts and expectations of friends and family can be overwhelming at times. As a child it’s easy to believe Santa comes down the chimney and brings presents. As an adult beliefs turn to distrust, negativity, and avoidance where there’s perceived danger. The wonder of life becomes no longer wonderful as we move through relationships.

I’m reminded of the phrase “goodwill toward men” on this special day we set aside to celebrate the coming of Christ. What does that mean?

If I could see the childlike soul of the person who holds discomfort in me, I may see a vulnerable and hurt little boy or girl. If I could see the substance of their being and look beyond their manipulation or rejection of me, I may be able to see their goodwill. If I could see the emotional scars out of their own unhealed wounds, I could relate with compassion.

May we seek to make loving eye contact and believe in the goodwill of our otherwise tension-filled relationships. May we hold onto our childlike faith and choose to grow beyond our own woundedness as children. May we allow the love of Christ and His healing touch on our own souls be the life-giving meaning of “goodwill to men.”

This prayer brought tears to my eyes more than once in my reflections of Christmas. May it touch your heart as you celebrate this sacred time!

Peace 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, union;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is error, truth;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine 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.

– attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi