“Joy to the world” … yes, and joy for all year too! And yet not a few suffer from post-Christmas blues … a let-down that comes probably because we have so many expectations for the holiday, and usually there are disappointments. Someone did not show. Someone got their feelings hurt. The gifts were not just right. And ghosts of Christmases pass surface again.
So some thoughts of Simon Tugwell are pertinent:
Something wounds you, something gets into you, that dislodges you from your
complacency, from being God to yourself. You discover an ache, a hole in your
heart, a need. So off you set to look for “him whom my soul loves.”
He reminds us that St. John of the Cross suggested “questioning the creatures.”
We meet creatures first (any of God’s creatures)
And they say to you, “What you are looking for is not here, but he has passed by,
scattering beauty as he went.”
It is his beauty in his creatures that attracts us. But they are honest. They tell us they are not enough to fill that hole.
We may dally a long time with creatures, trying to persuade ourselves that is what
we “really” wanted. But it is not the creatures that deceive us. They testify plainly
by their very beauty that someone else has passed by.
Christmas Day is past. But the twelve days of Christmas are upon us and they lead to Epiphany – the revelation of the light that came in Jesus and spreads to the world.
Instead of wallowing in the “post-Christmas blues” we can travel with the wise men from the east, who followed the star until it led them to where the light shone brightest, not on the Christmas tree, but in the face of God’s Son, the “someone else” who passed by and yet remains.
For the next twelve days try looking each day for some revelation of beauty, of joy, that you can carry in your heart – and each day pass some of it (and of Him!) on to others.
December 26, 2006
PS My “creature” dog Wrangler did that for me today. Every day I suppose is Christmas for him. He walked the track with me carrying his Christmas gift – a singing doggie that plays I Wish You a Merry Christmas” each time he squeezes. He made me laugh with joy!