I find a lot of Christmas music saccharine and barely tolerable but Oh Holy Night, plucks at my heart:
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices!
I long ago learned that Christmas was a manufactured holiday created by those old timey Popes who wanted to put the kibosh on all those fabulous pagan parties. We’ve further commercialized it. It doesn’t really matter though. I think we take the traditions and symbols that are meaningful to us and simply enjoy them. But amid the cookies and presents, I think it is a time to fully inherit our Christ consciousness or Buddha mind, what ever your path. Ultimately, we are all taking different trains, planes, and automobiles to the same destination.
Author Bill Flanagan said of the bittersweet virtue of spiritual/holiday music (secular and non-secular alike), “God loves us even when we do not love ourselves. Salvation is possible, because humans are infinitely redeemable. These are the shortest days of the year and for some people they are the hardest. But starting now, little by little, the days will get longer. The light is already coming back.”
And truly, Christmas, in all its magic and grace, is about hope.
And the soul felt its worth.
“What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be.” – Helen Claes
Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson
I was taken with author Marianne Williamsons’ interpretation of the fairy tale of Cinderella. She speaks of that bitter moment where Cinderella is literally standing in rags, left in the dust, mocked by her antagonists; her dreams of champagne bubbles and delightfully dizzying waltzes dashed.
Imagine the rage and despair. But Cinderella didn’t throw rocks at their carriage as it pulled away, she didn’t plot to poison their soup, she didn’t stand there screaming expletives into the night.
That certainly would have “satisfied her ego but not her soul.”
She surrendered to her sorrow and simply wept. Her gentle heart broken open. And that is precisely when grace enters, in her story, in the form of a plump and lovely fairy godmother.
Cinderella says to her “Oh, I thought you’d never come!” and her fairy godmother responds “Oh that’s not true, or I couldn’t be here!”
Even in her darkest moment Cinderella had faith, making all things possible. Faith is the invitation for illumination.
I rather like fairy tales. Not only because I am a syrupy, optimistic, romantic girl, but because in their fanciful way they tell us a very true story: love prevails in the face of evil dragons and wicked stepmothers who are invariably vanquished or subdued though not before they help to make us into heroes.
they remind us that it is never, ever too late for a happily ever after.
“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”
“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity.” - Rabindranath Tagore