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Living in the light

by davesandel on December 29th, 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021                                (today’s lectionary)

The Fifth Day of Christmas

Living in the light

The thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.

Sometimes I think I have only one tune, and that’s the tune of dialogue with God, as Mark Virkler calls it, or imaginative prayer, as the Ignatians call it, or conversational prayer, as Rosalind Rinker calls it.

I guess there are many others singing the same song.

All I know is that my own thoughts are far more clear when I talk to God like this. And when I take the extra step and imagine what Jesus says back to me, then I can invariably calm my own feelings.

Sing to the Lord a new song.

When God talks, people listen. I learn more about God, and more about myself. The world around me is much less mysterious and threatening.

In a slightly different context, Ron Rolheiser wrote in Holy Longing, “If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.” Yes, I agree. On this fifth day of Christmas, conversation with God is exactly the best way I know to spend my time.

Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people.

Simeon was retired, like me. Anna was retired too. What else do we have to do? I know I have plenty of stuff to do, actually, but really … everything seems much more optional than it did when I had to show up in the morning for work. I don’t have to work so hard to make time for the best thing in life.

In India men and women are expected to go through four stages of life: the student, the householder, the forest dweller and finally the wandering beggar/holy pilgrim/”fool.” Everything leads up to my time for talking with God, for more and more listening, for rediscovering myself as a child.

In the West we talk about the first and second halves of life. I have gathered, and now I can let it all go. Why wait until I die to loosen my grasp on STUFF? And why wait for great loss to accept the fact that sorrow accompanies (and nearly defines) joy?

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.

Linus wants to convince Charlie Brown that happiness is a warm blanket. That is happiness for him. It sounds pretty good to me, too. But the light that shines out of the words of Jesus, speaking directly with me, breaks and dances and shines in my eyes. Sometimes it blinds me, and then it stills my soul. That is joy.

Sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord, and bless his holy name.

 (1 John 2, Psalm 96, Luke 2)

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