Pause for a moment . . .
What images does Winter hold for you? . . . short days; darkness; staying indoors; lights and shopping . . .
“Every year at just this time,
In cold and dark December,
Families around the world
All gather to remember,
With presents and with parties,
With feasting and with fun,
Customs and traditions
for people old and young.”
– Helen H. Moore
What does Christmas mean for you?
Work of Christmas Begins
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart . . . And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.
– Howard Thurman, adapted
In what ways can we radiate the light of Christ in our everyday life?
with thy twining, twisting fingers,
thinkest thou to touch the unfathomable height?
Thine is a seeking like to that which lingers,
clings in my own heart
on hearing the sea’s might crying and sounding,
clashing deep below
in the dark caves misted to grey.
What is it that we seek?
I do not know
what brings the vibrant longings into play, –
on thy fingertips fresh green leaves grow:
that which we seek is not so far,
not so ….
– Gerald O’Mahony SJ circa 1954
In these bare, dark times that we all experience can we find a chink of light to help us take a step of hope into the future?
Dear God, help me embrace the darkness, knowing that from the very deepest dark comes the brightest Light.
Help me to feel my own darkness, where fear resides inside, within my wounded child who is scared of being on Earth.
With your love, I may use the darkness of nature on this day to hold my wounded child close to my breast, letting her tell me all of her fears.
She will tell me how I scare her; I will ask her to tell me how I abandon her.
I will use this darkness to let her cry; and with her final tear she will begin to sense the Light.
I will use this day to go to the depths of my own dark places because I know you are with me always, and that only by going into the darkness may we see the truth of our Light.
Thank you, God, for giving me life so that I may explore the darkness and the Light.
Thank you for the cycle of creation.
Thank you for my breath, my heart, my body and my mind.
Thank you for the Light of my soul, where, though I sometimes forget, I long to always be.
Adapted – Winter Solstice Prayer to the Inner Child, by Nancy Swisher