Who issued from the mouth of the Most High
Reaching from beginning to end
Ordering all things mightily yet tenderly--
Come to teach us the way of prudence.
When I was younger, it used to be very important to me to make Christmas perfect. We never had much money, but I made ornaments and stockings and decorated and did all sorts of Advent activities, and all of this was great. But one Christmas about 30 years ago something happened that changed the whole way I looked at Christmas.
One day in the week before Christmas, I was at my mother's house assembling a dollhouse, and I got a call. It's odd, but although I don't remember who called, I remember that I was surprised that this particular person was calling with the news. My best friend's 18 year old son had been killed in a motorcycle accident along with a friend of his. And I can remember that what struck me immediately was that there was going to be no way to make this Christmas perfect.
Over the next several days, I began to understand in a way I never had before how much we need Christmas, not the tree, and the carols, and presents, but the Nativity, baby Jesus in the manger. I learned how underneath all the trappings, we yearn for a Saviour, we yearn to be saved from a world that is at times unbearable. And I learned somehow in that darkness that He really was there. Now I think of that as one of the best Christmases of my life. This quote from St. Gregory of Nyssa was in the section of the Catechism that we read today.
Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?
And so, this is what I've been thinking about during the last few days. I haven't written anything about the shootings in Connecticut and I won't. I've barely discussed them with anyone. I don't really think there's much profitable that one can say. I know, though, that because this happened, it won't be exactly the Christmas we wanted, but I know that Christmas is just what we need.
Great post by Sally here.