The day has been filled with Christmas light.
I got up early this morning…Max and I did a before-the-sun-came-up walk. On the circle, Christmas lights on houses and in trees still dazzled the snow-sprinkled morning. A cold bite to the air, I pulled my hood up and we made our way into day, leaving our footprints behind, the first in fresh snow.
The magic continued. As is usual, it was possible to hear one good classical tune on CKUA on my drive to the church, where upon my entrance, I was greeted by the familiar voices and smiles of old friends. After a short morning prayer, I decided to light a candle. It is the feast day of the Holy Family and I couldn’t stop thinking about my family…Dad, Mom…my brothers and sister and my children. Mom would have me light that candle and say a prayer and acknowledge, with gratitude, the blessings of this season and my life, and so I did.
Social media enjoys its fair share of cynicism about God, Jesus and ‘religion’. While somewhat accepting of ‘spirituality’ and spewing a constant blast of Rumi quotes, many people generally dismiss the power of belief and embrace the power of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘now’, ‘manifestation’, ‘selfie’, and ‘self-gratification’ instead. I’m not here to knock all of that and all of them, but I’m here to proclaim just how powerful faith is for me. I felt as though when I lit that candle, a tidal wave of love spilled over me. I experienced ‘God-be-with-you’ in the truest sense. I am grateful for the grace and power of the divine within me.
I’m a big one for family history, studying my maternal and paternal lineages intensely for the past five years. The Liturgy of the Word was filled with family history today…stories of hope and amazement.
The Mass was filled with blessings of every kind. Deacon Greg shared a heartfelt homily that touched me deeply. Sometimes personal narratives just have a way of reaching into the soul and healing something. Greg’s stories of faith, family, struggle and joy were so meaningful and so relevant. I cherish my family deeply and I’m so grateful for their love and support always. Each member of my family, whether they be in Lethbridge, Raymond, Magrath, Ottawa, Halifax, Comox or Calgary, is light to me.
During Offertory, we sang the Little Drummer Boy. Today’s version, with some percussion, sent chills up my spine because I felt as though Mom was sitting right beside me. This carol was always her favourite and my spirit lit up at the first tap of the drum.
Three baptisms…Isaac, Ethan and Noelle. What’s not to absolutely love about baptisms? The children from the congregation gathered, wearing their new Christmas outfits, excited to celebrate in the welcoming of three new infants into our community. Ethan and Noelle appeared to be twins, looking so fragile and sleeping so soundly. Father Cristino gently blessed their small round heads with water and there was barely a peep from either of the wee angels. Isaac was fully immersed and his back stiffened at contact with the water, when all at the same time, he let out a cry. Wrapped up in a cozy blanket, Daddy held him close and he was quickly consoled. The congregation was invited to applaud our welcome and our excitement for this beautiful event. That small candle continued to light up my heart.
The Consecration at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist left me gobsmacked. My readers might have to look up the term in their urban dictionaries. I just could not find a term that would suit this moment better. Gobsmacked, it is!
This day has been a very special day for me because of its beginning. The snow continues to flutter gently to the ground. My daughter came by and shared a meal of beef barley soup. We snuggled. Max played whizzo outside and flew through the snow…again. The light has long since left the sky. The Christmas tree lights are once again plugged in. While the sky is very dark, it feels as though I am lit up. I am grateful. I am happy.