Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a time that invites nostalgia.
These thoughts come from a Christmas past, shortly after my return to the Faith.

nativityOne of the blessings of having reached a certain age is the ability to look back at the many twists and turns of one’s life. At this holy season of Christmas and especially on this holy day celebrating Christ’s birth, a number of memories fill my mind.

I see myself in a classroom, dressed as an angel – complete with halo – waiting to be called to sing onstage for the grand finale of the Christmas pageant. I fast forward many years to a time where I am directing my four children in decorating Christmas stockings that I’ve sewn. They each choose a liturgical scene appropriate to the season. Or I’m in the kitchen with trays of cut-out cookies that my children “paint” with colored egg yolk. Or I’m in the living room, fragrant with fresh pine, filled with the happy mess of toys.

But none of these Christmases has had the joy of the feast this year.

Many Christmases were spent in distress, in spiritual and personal trials, while love – true  love that is of God – eluded me. Nothing is so empty as the heart that has lost God.

But God does not want to remain lost. In spite of ourselves, he gently pursues us, woos us, seduces us, and sweetly captures us at last.

This year, I have been tutored in the spiritual joys of the holiday. This year, I have been given a deeper grasp of the marvel of Christmas: the gift of Christ Himself.

Christ who came to teach us what true happiness consists of.
Christ in whom all good things exist in a visible, tangible way.
Christ in whom all things were made, and to whom all things ultimately tend.

Christ. The one Word that speaks all to us.
The one Word that contains all that is good:
love, holiness, mercy, compassion, generosity,
forgiveness, kindness, enlightenment, joy, wisdom,
love again,
and yet more love.

And the greatest marvel of all is that he did not come just once at a moment in history that is forever gone. He comes in an unending presence to fill and transform our spirits and, through us, to fill and transform the world. He will never again be absent from our life. While we await a second coming, he is nevertheless here.

christmas-message

Gallery of Photos taken in the Holy Land.

Terrain outside of Bethlehem
Terrain outside of Bethlehem
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity
Christ Child image below altar, Church of the Nativity
Christ Child image below altar, Church of the Nativity
14-point star, signifying generations of families of the House of David
Revered as the site of Jesus’ birth. 14-point star, signifying generations of families from the House of David
Crypt, Church of the Nativity, where St. Jerome lived while translating the Bible
Crypt in the Church of the Nativity, where St. Jerome lived while translating the Bible
“In this place was once St. Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church”

Author: Rosalie P. Krajci

Rosalie P. Krajci, Ph. D., is a Benedictine Oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery in Pine City, NY. She is retired from two careers: as a language teacher and as a consultant in human resources management. Her third and most rewarding career is as a spiritual director and freelance writer. Rosalie and her husband Tom raised seven children. Now widowed, she lives in the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York.

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