Christmas Joy

As I was kneeling in an empty Church and praying a rosary I was struck by a theme that our Holy Father has used in the past.  ‘God is great precisely because He made Himself small‘.  Now, of course God is great no matter what He does; but the idea, at least to me, is that God could have dealt with us in any way He desired; He could have stayed aloof in heaven and just fixed everything from on high, but He didn’t.  His desire was to be as close to us as possible.  He wanted to experience our condition, our fallen condition, from our point of view.  He wanted to know our joys and fears, our pains and pleasures, our happiness, our loneliness.  He desired walk with us and be there for us – and to do that He needed to be as we are (except for sin of course).

This is the Christmas joy that I am feeling, that when I kneel to pray I don’t need to look up to heaven because I am looking God straight in the eye.  God is with us!

Let us make our way to Bethlehem

Today’s Antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah:
The shepherds said to one another: Let us make our way to Bethlehem and see for ourselves this thing which the Lord has revealed to us.[1]

It strikes me that four days after Christmas we start to lose the luster of the meaning of the day. All things start to turn towards the New Year celebrations. This is a worrisome attitude, though not unexpected unfortunately. The gift the angels proclaimed is the greatest gift we can ever have – all humanity – and we need to keep it in front of us at all times. We need to strive to “make our way to Bethlehem” each and every day so that we can live with the joy of that “thing which the Lord has revealed to us“.[2]

Prayer, daily prayer, is our way to Bethlehem. As hard as it seems to keep up daily prayer; the effects of not doing daily prayer is painfully obvious to each of us if we honestly look at our attitudes. The little time it takes to put ourselves in the presence of God and talk with him is more beneficial than trying to cram more and more into each day. When we hold to our daily prayer we, ultimately, stay in Bethlehem and live in the ‘joy of the angels’ [3]– Jesus Christ.

[1] Liturgy of the Hours
[2] ibid
[3] Lk 2:10-11