Good 'Ol Saint Nick
Legends abound concerning the generosity of St. Nicholas, Bishop and Confessor. Mainly he is remembered for his charity to children. But that is not why he is remembered in the Church. He is remembered and celebrated in the Church because he was a Theologian, a Bishop, a Confessor. He was one of the authors of what we call the Nicene Creed, that ancient, genuine, and truly ecumenical confession of the saving Faith. Through Nicholas, as through the prophets and apostles, God has provided for us. He has handed the Faith down to us, delivered the Good News of his generosity and compassion, bestowed upon us the Wisdom of God which confounds the wisdom of men.(via Burr in the Burgh)
A less popular legend than Nicholas dispersing his inheritance to poor children, is a story that he got so upset with Arius, who was denying the Divinity of Christ in much the way the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons do today, that he slapped him. Because of this outburst of violence he was to be suspended from his post as Bishop. Bishops rule in the kingdom of the right, not the left. There is no place for violence. After reflection and prayer, however, the Council decided not to remove him for the offense. Not because Arius had it coming (which he did,) but because Nicholas was repentant. Even Bishops of his stature, generosity, and compassion can lose their cool, and the way of the Church is forgiveness.
Nicholas struggled with his fallen flesh, even as we do. But God was gracious unto him, restored him again and again through His Word and Sacraments so that Nicholas, for all his weaknesses, was strong enough to confess, and the grace of God was multiplied in, and through, him. May God make us all such good and faithful servants, such grateful recipients of His love, such bold confessors until He comes again to give us even more.