Sunday, December 14, 2014


As most of the people in my city are moving at a frenetic pace in order to be ready for Christmas I have been given a forced quietness which has offered me time to reflect and contemplate the beauty, mystery and depth of the Advent season. My husband Wally is recuperating from hip replacement surgery so there is a stillness around our house, other than the moments when the grandkids drop by.

The lights shine brighter as we approach Christmas and yet I have been mindful of the thousands of people who are living in the dark shadows of oppression, persecution, displacement, sorrow and fear.
In my readings I was taken back to a WW II  Advent writing by Alfred Delp, a German priest who denounced Hitler. In his last days in a concentration camp before he died by hanging he wrote encouraging words bringing a message of hope, peace, joy and love to a hurting world. He wrote about the 'golden threads' that pass between heaven and earth that comfort and bless mankind. 'Live today in today's Advent - a radiant fulfillment to come.' What an amazing faith as he faced death.
Faced with the terrors of the world we must turn to God, a time to awaken and put things back as God intended them.

by Madeleine L'Engle

It was a time like this,
War and tumult of war,
a horror in the air.
Hungry yawned the abyss-
and yet there came the star
and the child most wonderfully there.

It was a time like this
of fear and lust for power,
license and greed and blight-
and yet the Prince of bliss
came into the darkest hour
in quiet and silent light.

And in a time like this
how celebrate His birth
when all things fall apart?
Ah! wonderful it is 
with no room on the earth
the stable is our heart.

December 6th commemorates Saint Nicholas Day. a day which our daughter and family celebrate in it's simplicity. Saint Nicholas who lived in the 3rd century used his inheritance to help the sick and suffering. His primary virtue came to be seen as generosity to children and the needy. So it was special surprise to have a visit from our sweet granddaughters and their parents with a token gift of an orange and chocolate coins to wish their Grampa well, and love on Gramma.

The decorations were up before the surgery date and the title of the book could not have been more fitting for us as we are content to hibernate over the next weeks, hopefully getting to a Christmas Eve service. Let's not forget those for whom these words are meaningless, empty and hopeless. We have the opportunity to be messengers of hope, peace, joy and peace to a hurting world.

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