Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Today’s text

From a letter by Saint Leo the Great (pope, 391/400-461)

But through this wonderful blending the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth we too might be born again in a spiritual birth; and in consequence the evangelist declares the faithful to ‘have been born not of blood nor of desire of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.’


Be born in us, O Lord. This is my prayer as Christmas comes near. Be born again in the dark mystery of my heart. Illumine my soul with the light of your loving presence.

Be born in me that my coldness might be overwhelmed by your warmth,
that my confusion might be washed away by the certainty of a love that always was and always will be,
that my mortality might be filled with your immortality,
that my narrow heart might be expanded by the immensity of your all-encompassing, unfailing compassion.

Let Christmas come and banish all sadness. Let every soul see the cold winter world drenched in sunlight. Fill us with the joyful awareness that the golden rays of your divine love are filling every dark corner of creation.

Be born us. Raise us from the lethargy of grief, from preoccupation with what we have lost and from anxious fears of what we must face. Let us feel your love deep within that we may know that you are in us.

Then we shall know that you are greater than every sadness, stronger than the anxieties that erode our joy and more powerful than the forces of death that steal hope and cloud the future.

Make my soul like bright winter morning. I gaze out the back window of the house. The sun pours joy on the patio. It may be cold, but the world is clothed in light, joyous light, hilarious light. It laughs and plays.

It seeks out every cold corner. It does not force its way in, but silently rushes forward at unimaginable speed, lest the darkness get away and hide somewhere beyond its reach. But there is no such place.

You are light, O Lord, the light of onrushing love. And your light lives within me, or how could I know you? How could I be moved to praise you, to hope for you, to call out for you?

My prayer has long since been answered. You already have been born in me. And what is born in me--in us--is light, the light of eternal day, the joyous light of winter mornings playing on the patio.

It comes and reminds me that you, who come in Jesus, indwell my soul, seeking out every dark corner, every fearful place, every sadness over loss, every wound that hinders joy and purpose, every doubt that you, my Lord, are something less than all-embracing love.

And when my heart knows this, you are born again, not in Bethlehem, but in this soul, which is your holy purpose--and my great joy.

Pr. David L. Miller

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