Fr John Main OSB, “Letter Ten, December 18, 1979,” LETTERS FROM THE HEART(New York: Crossroad, 1988), pp. 119-20.
Christmas is a feast that can open the hearts of all of us to the presence of Christ. It puts before us the great qualities of innocence and hope that we need if we are to awaken to his light, and it fills us with confidence because it tells us that the old age has ended. The new age, indeed the new creation, has begun and our point of departure for finding it everywhere is finding it a reality in our heart.
Our journey is, then, one to our own hearts. Because all of us are invited to enter this temple and receive this newness of life, we have to recognize this time as a moment to put off everything that prevents us from embracing the mystery of our own creation and entering into the fullness of life we receive as pure gift in the father’s eternal act of creation.
The importance of the teaching of the Incarnation is that the mystery of God in his eternal creativity is not only brought closer to us but really united to us. We no longer need to objectify the mystery that has taken up his dwelling in our hearts of flesh. We now know that our awakening to his reality is an imminent possibility for each of us because the awakening is an incarnate encounter. The joyfulness to which this feast should recall us is that this awakening is not the result of our own power. We are no longer isolated in a dependency on our own inadequate resources. It is not our own power of wisdom that leads us but his love that is present as the light of the supreme reality in our hearts. The humility of the child Jesus is our guide and teacher. In his Light we have Light. In his Love we have Love. In his Truth we are made Truthful.
It is a feast full of wonder and full of hope for all of us, whoever or wherever we are. It is a new dawn for all humankind, one that begins with a faint but certain glow whose strengthening light steady transforms the sky and earth and grows in brilliance until perfect day.
Meditate for Thirty Minutes.... Remember: Sit down. Sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer-phrase "Maranatha." Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything—spiritual or otherwise. Thoughts and images will likely come, but let them pass. Just keep returning your attention—with humility and simplicity—to saying your word in faith, from the beginning to the end of your meditation.
After Meditation, from Julian of Norwich, DAILY READINGS (chapters 83,84), arr. by Sheila Upjohn (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse, 1992), pp. 188-89.
So I saw and understood that our faith is light in darkness, and this light is God our endless day. This light is love, and it is measured in the right amount to profit us, by God’s wisdom. For the light is not so bright that we can see our blessed day, nor is it shut off from us. . . .
And so love keeps us in faith and hope.
And hope leads us in love.
And, at the end, all shall be love.
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