One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Family was God’s one choice for revealing his “Word” to “become flesh and dwell among us”. This was his model for man to understand our triune God, his love for us, his desire to be in communion with us, and to enjoy the mystery of his presence among us in this our universal home.
    It was a humble family which faithfully accepted the arrangement on his terms, by his means not as they had planned, and for his will to be done. Both Mary and Joseph, as part of that original covenant, were devout Jews and “willing” to do whatever God had in mind for them knowing they would be together “with child” in their adventure for the Holy Spirit who came to “overshadow” them.

    So what do we see here? A complete and dedicated union of a devoted husband, a pure and faithfully obedient virgin wife, and a divine child combined in love and purpose to make up the celestial package for the worlds first “Christmas”. A single unit of persons, Family was its name; Salvation was its goal; Love was its eternal message.
    There exposed and unfolded to the world was heavens “eternal family” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in their greatest act of love for mankind’s salvation, spiritually conjoined with a “holy family” of husband, wife, and savior child. The nature of heaven’s Trinity revealed on earth in “Family” as only God would have it for the sake of all in humanity’s ultimate and nearly unimaginable triumph, the Incarnation.
    Father God is Love, willed through the Holy Spirit and His chosen vessel our Immaculate mother Mary, the “triumphant” woman named and promised in the garden, to be present among us as our savior Lord, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ once and forever.

  2. Merry Christmas!

    Unto us (Non nobis, Domine, non nobis – even in our sinfulness and our unworthiness) the Savior is born!

    Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on Earth!

  3. This is just too cool not to share. At the Third (During the Day) Mass of Christmas which I attended this morning, at Cathedral in Springfield, Bishop Paprocki opened his homily by comparing the iconic Star Trek introduction “Space: the final frontier” to the iconic opening line of John’s Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word…” Both, he said, were designed to evoke fundamental mysteries — in the first case, space exploration; in the other, exploration of the message of the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. Sounds like a better Trek connection to Christmas than the Klingon Christmas Carol, doesn’t it? Merry First Day of Christmas (there are 11 more to go)!

  4. One Solitary Life is a great reflection Don.

    I actually posted it last week on our local Catholic blog, Being Frank.co.nz.

    Great minds and all that, eh? 🙂

    Have a joyful and blessed Christmas Don, and Catherine and your boys.
    And to all on The American Catholic, from down-under-land.

    As you’re aware, we’re about 17 hours ahead of you guys, so my advice today is don’t over eat or drink. I did, and recovering today ( now 10 am.Sunday) – but maybe I’m already too late to give that advice. 😉

  5. I’ve always loved One Solitary Life as a tribute to the unending significance of the Life of Christ, even if looked at purely in earthly terms. A Merry Christmas to you and your family Don! The advantage of being a tee-totaler is that I have only drunk today coffee, milk, non-alcoholic egg nog and coke. Now I just have to remember that I do not have to set a record for most turkey consumed by a homo sapien in one sitting!

  6. “We’re about 17 hours ahead of you guys… and recovering today (10 a.m. Sunday)

    Don the Kiwi has sent us a message from the future! 🙂

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