The Answer to the BURNING QUESTION of the Week
By Paul Dion, STL
Here 's the Burning Question:
Should Catholics be offended by the term "Xmas?"
Here's the answer to the Burning Question:
Thank you to all who participated in the Christmas Burning Question of the week.
The first thing that you all have to know is that the Greek letter X is the first letter of the word "Christ". This letter as it turns out is very prominent in the history of Christianity. It figures prominently in much of Catholic art and appears in many of the older churches as a sign of the presence of Christ.
If any of you are Scottish you will also know that St. Andrew, an apostle and the patron saint of Scotland was crucified on a cross on the form of an X. There is also a monogram, logo that has what we who use the latin alphabet call an "P" overlaid on an "X". (Wally, I'll try to get a pic or something) In Greek this is called the "Kee - Row" which are the first two letters of the name of
Christ. It would look like this to us = XRISTOS.
You see where I am going with this. XMAS, in the pure symbolic sense, is not silly or wrong or disrespectful. I do admit that there is a possibility for confusion because we are no longer very knowledgeable about Greek (not even Latin) so we can't really relate to the "X" (pronounced kee, by the way) thing.
So, when you see XMAS, don't get put out. Now that you know what it means, bow your head and say "Jesus, I love you", just like you do when you see "Christmas". You have our ermission to say "...and forgive those who thought that they were hiding "Christ" from "...mas."
So relax, enjoy the coming of Jesus into your lives, whether he comes as "X" or as "Christ".
What is really important is that He will have a home in your heart and another disciple on
Now that you know all this stuff, aren't you glad? Keep it to heart and remember that the
one who told you doesn't want anyone crying at his funeral.
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More about the Chi-Rho (Monogram of Christ):
Chi-Rho is the oldest known monogram (or letter symbol) for Christ. Some call this symbol the "Christogram" and it dates back to the second century Roman Emperor Constantine. Though the truth of this story is questionable, it is said that Constantine saw this symbol in the sky before an important battle, and he heard the message, "By this sign, conquer." Thus, he adopted the symbol for his army. Chi (x =ch) and Rho (p = r) are the first three letters of "Christ" or "Christos" in the Greek language. Though there are many variations of the Chi-Rho, most commonly it consists of the overlaying of the two letters, and oftentimes is surrounded by a circle.