Christmas is holy and hard. It is full of warmth, hope and joy in seeing loved ones.
It is delight in seeing the excitement of the children. There can also be moments of extreme isolation, doubt, and threading a way through family hot spots. There is the soul uplifting music of a beautiful church service, a grand choir. A wave of anguish for the world. The pleasure of a lovely meal. The wonder and the wondering.
Entering this Holy tide we do not come in
unencumbered bliss. We bring ghosts with us, our
own and those of others, the neglected shadows of
our own soul lives can lurk about that we didn’t think we’d commissioned, as well as those of loved ones caught in old hurts around us, all showing up as we come closer to the light that marks this season.
Joyfully, at the same time, we can have a lift of mood, a surge of warmth and love, a rising of the spirit longing for itself and sense there is Something making its presence known! Something is coming closer now that can give some peace and respite. Yes, give even a temporary transformation of all the short comings and the unaddressed issues. Spiritual blessing, so welcomed and tangibly present, can come like a soft gentle rain upon a parched land, like the magic when the debris of human made junk is gently covered with a mantle of pure and sparkling snow and bought to beauty.
The spirit of Mary, the spirit of the Christ Child’s impending birth is upon the land, make no mistake. It is here! His love of humanity, Her love of humanity is never ending, never for a moment paused or interrupted in the evolutionary scheme of things. Think of it! Love, compassion, gentle acceptance and support without end! Can we imagine any entity, eternal cosmic being or otherwise, proffering unconditional love to all 24/7 for millennia? Talk about patience!
For it is not about dominion, but freedom. There is choice here, and that’s what these long, messy centuries of human evolution are about, to get us intelligent enough, individual enough, and courageous enough to act in freedom to choose to give our lives and prayers in service of the Greater Good. Endlessly and eternally filled from the fountain of God’s love for humanity the Divine son was sent for all humanity. All human beings, everyone, that they might have the gift and possibility of awakening to their own spiritual identity, their own spiritual Light within.
Bestowed without striving? Sometimes. Yes, there is such a thing as Grace, it can be so. But if it is to work on in life, there has to be matching funds in our spiritual striving, a gratitude, a commitment to serve, or as our dear daughter, Mary( we named for the holy one) tells me recently, “All these challenges in life come to make us stronger, and to make us better, more compassionate human beings.”
When we look at the enormous squaring off of the powers of darkness and the powers of light today and and sense in every aspect of human existence, the powerful destructive forces; in education, foreign policy, the economy, our food or health care systems, environmental issues, we see a daunting array of outer issues that effect our lives, our welfare, and our future. In addition we are given the challenge to birth our higher self out of the morass of our own imperfect soul life.
Now there’s a challenge for us all!
Ah, but think of Mary. Blessed of God, yes, innocent pure, beautiful beyond description radiating holiness. But do not think she was naive.
Her worlds were filled with the dark and powerful resistance to the light, hideous resistance to the wonder of transcendent human goodness and radiating peace her child would bring to the world. So much vile, depraved human activity was part of human existence world wide then, even as now. Indeed worse then, for the tendril of connection to the holy and high in humanity and memories of our cosmic Oneness were fast fading away as human beings sunk into materialism and their lower bestial selves. Could there be a harder time in human evolution or a greater need to call for help from the divine than that era longing for light, life, and redemption?
And it was there. Divine mother, Divine Son, well springs of unending love, unending acceptance, unending spiritual renewal, together placing the archetype of resurrection in the light into the physical world so that there might be the possibility for the Birth of Light in the souls of all human beings throughout the world 2000 years later.
Do not imagine that Mary, though blessed by God, did not suffer in childbirth. She took that on in every human dimension just as her son took on death in all its travails for the sake of humanity. This is the primal sacrifice when God’s go through our experience to unite their power and resurrection forces with human beings. A sacrifice for the sake of our souls and our eternal spirits.
Do not imagine that in the final stages of labor, that Mary wasn’t in pain as she rode atop a little donkey, on a freezing night, to a town jammed with people who had been forced there to pay taxes to a cruel elite. Even there she would be turned away from warmth and shelter to a cave, with only the animals to warm the space as she ached with pain and cold.
She took it on. Imagine her knowing how much darkness was resisting her deed, to birth a being of light peace and love for the sake of the world? How she had to endure that darkness, from the first petty ostracisms by community members that she had betrayed her husband with the pregnancy, to knowledge of the cosmic dimensions of her first great nine month work, to bring to birth the treasured child.? Or later the facing, for example, the cruelty of Herod who would slaughter hundreds of the innocent children, evil that hung like a dark storm over the land?
The courage, the endurance, and God and cosmic faithfulness of her task, to build a wall of protection around her Holy womb, the radiant sun filled space, sacred beyond description, to be shielded with her bravery, her love, her prayers, her intense, unwavering greatest-of-all Mother love to defend to space and that Holy Child for the sake of all humanity to come.
Mary knew. Mary still knows. As we look into this world and see the powers of darkness that would sweep away the glow of the divine spark in our little ones ( Oh,
may we all need to defend our children in every way we can!) that would also block the birth of our spirit self within our souls, may we remember. Mary knew it all. She is as relevant and powerful today as ever in those years long ago with the Christ child’s physical birth into the conflicted world. Mary, in all her dimensions, in all her beautiful faces in all cultures, in her comforting appearances and revelations through out the centuries, always there for her world children.
Call upon her. She knows. She understands. She stands triumphant. The spirit birth was, is, has been done, and is continuing to shine through her, through her vibrant serving soul. The birth of Light triumphs over the darkness. Holy Mother, Holy Child. May this gift be for all us in this Holy Season and in the time to come!