Dear Companions on the Journey,
Two Meditations this Year:
For many years, I have savored this reflection on Christmas/Incarnation (= our belief that our Gracious God took flesh in Jesus Christ) from the late Joseph Donders:
It is night when the story starts, a pitch-dark night.In town the Roman census takers were still bending over their ledgers and books, filling in the details. Soldiers were patrolling the streets, when in the open field in a stable Mary gave birth to her child.
And then those angels came, first one, then some, and finally a whole throng. They did not go to the census takers, they did not go to Herod or the high priests, and they did not even go to the monks in the desert to tell their news.
They went to the most marginal ones in the neighborhood, they went to the shepherds.
The light of the angels shone on them; the heavenly songs were heard by them; the newness, the alternative world, the kingdom of God started among them.
It was not only the Child who was born that night. It was a whole new world, beginning not among those operating and managing the old order, but emerging from its victims in splendor and light.
That is what Mary knew and felt. That is what Simeon and Anna foresaw. That is what the angels sang.After their song they left this earth. They must have thought that He together with us could be relied upon.Amen.
The following has been ascribed to the Spanish mystic John of the Cross, one of the patrons of the Paulist Fathers:
If you want,
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the holy and say,
“I need shelter for the night, please take me inside
my time is close.”
Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness
the sublime intimacy, the divine,
the Christ taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.
Yes there, under the dome of your being does creation come into existence externally, through your womb, dear pilgrim –
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help; for each of us is
His beloved servant never far.
If you want, the Virgin will come walking
down the street pregnant with Light and sing …
What do you think?
A most blessed Christmas to you and all you love.
Michael McGarry, C.S.P.