Yeah Christmas cards aren’t happening this year. It’s not only the time and effort; but also the expense. And I really wanted to have one with a cute picture of Bella enclosed and, well, yeah not so much.
I feel a bit guilty every time I open a card from a friend or relative. Especially when I see that most of them are still going to our old address and being forwarded here. I never did get out those notices that we’d moved either. Mostly because for the first several months after we moved I was in the first trimester blahs. By the time I started to feel better, it seemed almost silly to send out change of address cards.
But Christmas will happen whether I send cards and buy presents or not.I’ve got a little something for Bella and Dom and that’s pretty much it. And i don’t think I can do much more. I hope all my friends and family know how much I love them without needing such tokens of affection. I’m just not feeling creative enough to make all sorts of frugal handmade gifts for everyone. Nor do I realistically have enough time. I should have started in September. Again, i wouldn’t mind so much, except I know I’ll be getting gifts from them. And there I’ll be empty-handed yet again.
I know these things aren’t important. So why am I having such a hard time letting go?
It seems everywhere I turn I’m reading from someone else about something they are having to let go of this season: the imperfections in ourselves, in our homes, in our loved ones, in our plans and celebrations, even the imperfections of our preparedness. As another Advent rushes to a close I realize how much I’ve failed to do yet again not only in the externals but in the spiritual journey as well. Is my heart truly prepared to welcome him?
And yet perhaps we need these reminders more now than ever. Christmas above all should be a time to embrace the fact of our own imperfections, our need for a Savior. Christ is born not in the brightness of day but in the midst of our darkness, our confusion and all the mess of the world that needs him so badly.
I need him so badly. And so I try to empty myself of me, to make some room for him to enter in so that he can fix all my brokenness.
The meditation today in the daily mass readings email that I subscribe to (available here was from The 14th century Dominican mystic, John Tauler. The following section seemed especially relevant when I read it this morning and then I saw it a second time in Father Philip’s homily. (Sometimes the Holy Spirit ain’t so subtle.)
�God cannot leave things empty; that would be to contradict his own nature and justice. Therefore, you must be silent. Then the Word of this birth can be spoken in you and you will be able to hear him. But be certain of this: if you try to speak then He must be silent. There is no better way of serving the Word than in being silent and listening. So if you come out of yourself completely, God will wholly enter in; to the degree you come out, to that degree will he enter, neither more nor less.�