Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" should be required study and mediation for all. It is, a fine complement to Pope Francis' powerful indictment of the voracious capitalist spirit that roams the world seeking the ruin of souls. For yes, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out: the average man needs food, sustenance, shelter etc. to have a chance to lead a decent moral life. And yes, as the Pope pointed out in his recent counter-thrust against the enemies of the Church (that is, those evasive dissenters who believe they can wriggle themselves off the hook by giving the exhortation a "Winnipeg Statement treatment"), the capitalist has grave moral responsibilities before God and man.
The exploitation and refusal to pay a man a living wage are two of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance. Willful murder (e.g. abortion) and the sin of the flesh that is now considered a preeminent virtue being the other two. It is no coincidence that all these sins are legal and highly prized in the decadent West.
All of this brings me to my main point: the perversion of Boxing Day. Victorian protestants began a fine tradition of boxing up a small little gift for the less fortunate employee and handing it out on the Feast of St. Stephen. The milkman, the postman, the coalman.... all these and more receive a little something from their Upper and Middle Class employers. What do we have today? Nothing but a rapacious spirit of greed and exploitation. The greedy capitalist, the greedy and mean-spirited purchaser; the poor exploited underclass of retail being forced to get up at 5 a.m., work for minimum wage at a box store to satisfy the vile consumer and the evil capitalist.
Friends, please do not go shopping on this day. Celebrate St. Stephen's Day. If you are an employer, please give a small gift to your employee. Or, please consider a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who do so much good work in helping the needy.