Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas and Never Being Alone

Christmas can admittedly be a lonely time for many. While it is a time for families and friends to get together and celebrate, it can also be a painful reminder of the loss of loved ones. My parents’ anniversary was on December 24th, the same day that my grandmother died. I love Christmas, but I miss my mother and grandmother.

I have “inflicted” the writings of Henri Nouwen on you many times. Allow me once again to inflict you, this time with some of his words about Christmas:
God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us.

The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone.

Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let him - whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend - be our companion.

- Henri Nouwen, Gracias
Merry Christmas, and God bless us – everyone.


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