Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas at Sinsinawa

Today, on this feast of God's radiant love, we celebrate the gift of Jesus in our midst, our blessing today.  The celebrations here at the Mound have been all about blessings.  The evening Mass last night began with a wonderful variety of carols, accompanied by bells, voices, strings, flute and clarinet, and organ.  Sister Mariel Bronson (profession 1947), returning after serious illness and therapy, played her cello accompanied by organ and strings.  Even at Christmas, we celebrate Resurrection! We welcomed the blessings of several hundred neighbors who joined us for Eucharist and the refreshments that followed.

This morning Sister Alice Ann preached and called us to remember the setting of Jesus' birth, and the many peoples of the world today who live in shelters and humble spaces, or in war torn countries.   As we celebrate the blessing of the world family, we recall that in our world the prosperity of some is directed related to the deprivations and suffering of others. 

One of my best Christmas gifts was Jan Richardson's new book, In the Sanctuary of Women (Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2010).  I leave you with one of her blessings: (p. 288-9)
                                                 That you will be wise
                                                  to the longings
                                                  that come to visit you.
                                                  That you will see their true faces
                                                  and know their true names.
                                                  That you will welcome the ones
                                                  that have gifts to bear.
                                                  That you will be graceful with yourself
                                                   for the ones
                                                   that took you a fool,
                                                   for they have their wisdom
                                                   that can be gained
                                                   no other way.

Mary Ellen Gevelinger, OP
Sinsinawa, Wisconsin

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