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The Christmas We Keep

The Christmas We Keep

(photo: Falco / Pixabay)

Let us pray to keep Christmas, that we may share it with all who do not yet know this great reason for all our joy.

There is always a struggle with Christmas, to discern how to tickle the hearts of so many. Making cookies, festive lights, the 24/7 Christmas station for music, and of course classic Christmas movies are part and parcel of wooing the hearts of our children, even the adult ones. However the diciest component of Christmas is how to acknowledge the true purpose of the day with those who do not acknowledge the reality of the day itself.

Without the purpose for the feast, the feast means less and less, and it becomes harder to bring them to the table, to the Christ, to the reason we do any of this. Praying the Rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet, the emergency novena, I ask and ask and ask and ask, and I know that God answers every time I ask. I know that all prayers are answered. All prayers are heard, and God’s grace pours out in lavish abundance over the whole world every time we turn our hearts fully to him. I also find that my own mind is too busy, too anxious, such that it takes a whole Mass or a whole hour of Adoration or a whole walk for my heart to catch up with my mind and my prayers to be something beyond words, something where I listen more than I talk.

It’s why I write in many circumstances, particularly about matters of faith, because God lets me spin out the words until I get to him, until I get quiet, until I hear. The Christmas we keep is when our hearts settle, like the land beneath the snow, when the heart rests if only for a little while, beneath the blanket of grace, and allows itself to soak in all that God offers.

My prodigal children push my heart and my faith to grow. They do not let it atrophy, because every day, they bring me a new challenge. They demand I learn to act like Christ, to understand and love first, and provide healing through truth as part of that relationship. They also demand that I reflect, and not simply go through the motions. They demand that I walk all the way until I am praying. They require that I go and sit until I hear God. They insist I keep discovering that I can love more, I can serve better, and that I am still one of those lost, who cannot find my way home but must be carried by the Good Shepherd.

The Christmas we keep is an eternal one of that day, when the shepherds and kings could see the King of Heaven, when the world could touch God and know that they were touching God. The more we hold Christmas, and the true reality of the Incarnation, in our hearts, the less we’ll have to worry how to witness it to those we love who are far from the faith. It will be transparent, visible from space, evident by our lives, by how we respond to them.

Let us pray to keep Christmas, that we may share it with all who do not yet know this great reason for all our joy.

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