John M. Grondelski writes some "Catholic Thoughts on A Christmas Carol" for Crisis Magazine, highlighting the religious lessons to be learned from Dickens' classic Christmas ghost story:
Justice and Mercy Meet. Marley suffers because of the man he made himself into: “I wear the chain I forged in life” and now fetters him eternally. The same fate threatens Scrooge, whose chain was “as heavy and as long as this seven Christmas Eves ago.” But that turn of justice is not something external, imposed by an angry God: it is rather that we reap what we have sown. The women justify theft of Scrooge’s deathbed curtains by his life: “Every person has a right to take care of themselves. He always did.” If he took care of himself, why can’t she? And if neglect breeds ignorance, despair, and death, then Tiny Tim’s fate is not imposed but ineluctable: “If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.” But if they are changed, if “courses be departed from,” things can be different. God lets us have what we want: we need to be sure it’s indeedreally what we want.
Kids love the “spirits” and thrills of A Christmas Carol, a story with an easily dislikable villain and a happy ending, a blend of Christmas and Halloween. One can reduce the Carol to that cartoon level. But there’s a greater richness in the story where, through the intervention of the supernatural, a man takes stock of himself and rises a new creature. It that sense, it’s a blend of Christmas and Easter.
G.K. Chesterton also noted the theme of "a man takes stock of himself and rises a new creature" in his study of Dickens, in which he notes that each of us, as much as Scrooge, need to undergo that process, that conversion: