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Celebrating Christmas in August

Sr. Ruth Droege, OP, PhD

Celebrating Christmas in August

I recently received a catalog from “The Printery House” advertising its collection of Christmas cards and gifts. Although I thought the display was early, arriving in the middle of August, my attention was caught, as I turned the pages, by a card which pictured a majestic stag standing erect among a grove of snow-topped poplars with the following caption – “be still and know that I am God.”

The scene called to mind the four Franciscan prompts for contemplation: seeing, inhabiting, valuing, and gazing. Seeing means to be able to see God’s presence in the stag and in the snow-topped poplars. Inhabiting goes a bit further. Inhabiting is to become aware of God’s presence in the cosmos, in all of created being interacting as one flow of energy. We feel the awe caused by this whole flow of creative energy and beauty is something to be valued by us. As we contemplate it, gaze on it, we are struck by a mystery whose meaning we try and construe.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis asks us not only to be entranced by the mystery but also to be aware that we human beings are part of the mystery. Through the evolution of reflective consciousness, we humans not only know but also know that we know, to know not only in the present but also to recall the past from which we have evolved and to create the future of the earth, the spiritual soul of the world. He asks us to create a better world where the poor are valued and peace reigns. In this way, believers and non-believers share in the same humanity that Christ graciously shared with us and become co-creators and co-redeemers with Christ, building up his body on earth, making the Incarnation, the historical Jesus to whom Mary gave birth, present in time. Mary births Christ two thousand plus years ago and continues to our time and beyond. She is in eternity with Christ interceding for us.

A child’s prayer, remembered from summer camp comes to mind:

Mother dear, pray for me,

While far from heaven and thee.

I wander in a fragile bark,

O’er life’s tempestuous sea.

Through Mary’s “yes” to God, there is room for God in us, and this presence of God in us is so important for bringing light to the world with all its sadness and all its problems.

In this Feast of the Assumption, let us all wish each other a Merry Christmas.











Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice