Thursday, December 22, 2011

Decorating Day

Yesterday in Bethlehem Monastery was D-Day—Decorating Day. And now the monastic halls are literally decked with wild holly from our woods along with evergreen boughs and sprigs surrounding candles waiting to be lit. Our cribs are empty, awaiting the coming of the Christ Child who will fill not only them but our yearning hearts with His longed for presence. Yesterday was also the winter solstice: the shortest day and longest night of the year. Even the day was dark for it was cloudy and raining. But today begins the gradual increasing of the light that will soon bring us the new growth of leaf and flower. The Church gives us the Christmas Season, just at this transitional time of the year to impress upon us the absolute dreariness of our natural human condition without God. But our hope lies in the joyful realization that the Son of God has come into the very depths of our self-made darkness to bring us His healing light. Our Matins Advent hymn expresses the mystery well: “Already now your crib is bright and night, in wonder breathes new light, which darkness cannot dim or break as lasting light is wed to faith.”

I will not be posting during the coming Christmas Season, so I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a most blessed Christmas celebration of the Incarnation of the Lord. And may He grant one and all a joyful New Year, rich in grace and peace.

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