Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Today, two different voices gave me permission to keep writing about the Christmas season.The first friend lives on the beautiful Hudson River.I can see her at her writing table with the cold,crisp New York air blowing outside,her shining hair piled atop her beautiful face.She writes:"The holy season is never over." Perfect words.
My other friend is an old neighbor,the old Georgia Boy, who survived a near death experience on the operating table and whose words give me joy:"Every day is my Christmas."Amen and alleluia!!!
So with that,I want to share what has come to me through a Christmas card.I do love Christmas cards,especially ones with snow and angels.But there was one this year that pulled me in.It is a Madonna and child.The Mother is young and I am struck by the look on her face.Her eyes are closed as are the babe's.The total peace and contentment of these figures calm me.Some of her dark blue robe covers her child's bare back.This is a picture of completeness.Nothing else is needed by the two figures.They are wrapped in each other in a circle of peace.
For many of us, Christmas is not a time of peace.Obligations pull at our tattered psyches from all directions as we try to make Christmas perfect for others, as if that was in our power.This year,many family changes added to the chaos.
However,by grace,I found an island of sanity that was a great gift.Twice a day, I went into my P.C. room and shut the door.A candle was lit on the rough, ten dollar table that I bought in Woodstock.The tall, brown haired,red robed, wooden praying girl stood above the light.A small Saint Nicholas, Russian looking,multi-colored and carved from wood ,stood near.My red/green stone from the holy island of Iona rested in the front and in the back,a Christmas card with the four Narnia children around the lamppost,the woods thick with snow.Here I prayed the Liturgy of the Hours and rested in twenty minutes of Centering Prayer.
In my own soul's way,I held the Christ, not on my lap but in my very center,the place that Thomas Merton describes as being able to be touched only by God.In those moments,I was an enclosed complete circle.