From today's audience
"'The Lord Jesus is coming!' we repeat these days in prayer, preparing our hearts to experience the joy of the Redeemer's birth.
"In preparing to celebrate the birth of the Savior with joy in our families and ecclesial communities -- while a certain modern and consumer culture tries to make the Christian symbols of the celebration of Christmas disappear -- let us assume the commitment to understand the value of the Christmas traditions, which are part of the patrimony of our faith and our culture, in order to transmit them to the new generations.
"In particular, on seeing the streets and squares of our cities adorned with glittering lights, let us remember that these lights evoke another light: invisible to our eyes, but not to our hearts. Contemplating them, when lighting the candles of churches or the Nativity and Christmas tree lights in our homes, may our spirits open to the true spiritual light brought to all men and women of good will. The God-with-us, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, is the Star of our lives!
"With these sentiments, exhorting you to keep alive the interior wonder in the fervent expectation of the now close celebration of the birth of the Lord, with joy I wish all of you here present, your families, your communities, and your loved ones a holy and happy Christmas.
"Merry Christmas to all!"
(Translation by ZENIT. Full text available here)