Thank you. For your prayers and your words of encouragement. For your always thoughtful, always civil discussion in my comboxes — holy mackerel, who knew “thoughtful,” “civil,” and “comboxes” could go together in the same sentence?
To you men and women with SSA — thank you for your courage, and your willingness to follow the light of the Church even when her light at first looks dark to our distempered eyes.1 For your hard questions and your refusal to take the easy way out. For your respectful disagreement and your enthusiastic affirmation.
To everybody else — thank you for your presence and your understanding, and your willingness to engage these questions even when they don’t touch you personally. There are more of you here than I expected, and it makes me very happy. Thank you for showing me how much we all have in common.
What a good year it’s been! Dear eighteen-year-old self, angry and lonely and frustrated and sunk into the pit of yourself, just wait, just wait till you see! You’re going to love it here. Like Jesus told you, he will not let you fall. He meant that.
Christmas comes into the year just like God comes into our lives: quietly, in the middle of the dark and cold, preparing the secret seeds of life and love even in the depths of the frozen ground. Be silent, be still, His love is always working.
I’m taking a few days off. I’ll see you in 2012. Oremus pro invicem.
Peace be with you
(and with your spirit!),