I’m remembering the words that are sometimes spoken during the Christmas season, “The Messiah is always among us.” Yet when life exposes me to situations that seem unbelievably demeaning, those comforting words are quickly drowned out by my inward spontaneous anger or sadness. I’ve begun to ask myself, can those uncomfortable feelings be inviting me to break open my heart to places in me that want to be named and healed so they can become my teachers? Can I name times or situations in which I actually demean myself without even being conscious of it? Claiming my own capacity for demeaning might tenderize my heart and birth a gentle space within it for receiving those who sound demeaning. An expanded heart might free me to breathe love on the embers of God-presence that lives at all times in each person’s heart… including my own.
Because matter itself and all creatures became holy with Jesus’ birth, the healing that happens in me can allow me to walk with greater love and respect one day at a time. There is this saying, “We don't think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking.” And maybe when that happens the fullness of Christmas is revealed among us, and God’s kingdom manifests itself again and again.
Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB