Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth. When heaven and earth unite they are of one will. Their influences are in harmony.’ (I Ching, ‘Peace’)
As he faced his own death on December 30 1982 John Main wrote his last newsletter - one of his most powerful teachings - on the ocean of God on which the horizon is always receding. Having accepted his dying he could see deeply into the meaning of life that the birth of Jesus had forever radically altered. Every story we tell, including the story of Bethlehem, is an attempt to express that ultimate meaning. Fr John tells us that the end and the beginning of every story are like two ends of a string held in the mystery of God and joined together in the mystery of Christ. So nothing is left outside.
The mystery is that everything is included. Jesus was born homeless, forced into exile shortly before a massacre of the innocents like Newtown. What makes Christmas happy is not a denial of the dark but an explosion of light stronger than any denial or darkness. We are thrown open to our capacity for happiness, harmony, unity, peace. Our capacity but even more amazingly our destiny. May this light explode in the silence of our hearts this Christmas and may our meditation prepare us day by day for the horizonless voyage we are already launched on.
Happy Christmas and every blessing in the New Year!
Laurence Freeman OSB