Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Finding Christmas

Last night, BigBro and I went to the Christmas Novena and stayed for confession. Outside, it was cold and dark. Inside, it was warm, softly lit and welcoming.

When mass ended, we headed to the lines in the back of the church. BigBro got in line for our pastor. I stepped in line for a visiting priest, so we would finish about the same time. Just before our turns, BigBro asked me to switch. Minutes later, I sat down next to my pastor in the cry room, and shed a few tears of my own.

Where is Christmas? I asked him. I can't seem to find it. I keep trying... well, maybe not enough, but this Advent, I never did get it together enough, and here comes Christmas... and .... well, I'm not ready. And I'm not talking about presents and gift wrap and pies and ham. Because all of that is ready. I'm talking about heart and soul and silence and peace and welcoming the Light into my life.

My pastor spoke about patience and perfectionism and the miracle of Christmas. Then he paused, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "You still have 2 days left. Here's what you are going to do. Find someone to keep the kids for an hour. Come over here to the chapel. Sit. Be with God. Leave your prayer book, your rosary, your to-do list at home. Come. Sit here in the silence and be with God. Experience the miracle of Christmas."

Leaving that room about 20 pounds lighter, I met BigBro in front of the baptismal font. We walked to the front of the church and admired the nativity scene (sans baby). Then we walked out of the church, arm in arm.

This morning, after the groceries were bought and stored, DH shooed me out of the house in the direction of the chapel. I felt naked without my prayer books, but excited to soak up the silence.

I entered the darkened chapel and settled into the silence. I had my no-agenda meeting with God. And it was very, very good.

When I slipped back out of the chapel an hour later, I knew that I had found Christmas. I had rediscovered the why and the who and the how and most especially the love of this amazing season.

May you find Christmas too!

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