For a Christian there is
nothing peculiarly difficult about Christmas in a prison cell. I daresay it
will have more meaning and be observed with greater sincerity here in this
prison than in places where all that survives of the feast is its name. The
misery, suffering, poverty, loneliness, helplessness and guilt look very
different to the eyes of God from what they do to [human beings], that God
should come down to the very place where [people] usually abhor, that Christ
was born in a stable because there was no room for him in the inn -- these
are things which prisoners can understand better than anyone else. For the
prisoner the Christmas story is glad tidings in a very real sense. And that
faith gives a prisoner a part in the communion of saints, a fellowship
transcending the bounds of time and space and reducing the months of
confinement here to insignificance.
---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted in, LITURGY WITH STYLE AND
Gerald T. Chinchar.
(Archdiocese of Chicago, Liturgy
Training Publications, 1998, page 97. Paper, ISBN 1-56854-186-4.