In the flurry of these holidays I have been struck much by the push and the pull, the beauty and the pain, brute strength and hope.  I so enjoy the loveliness of the lights, the invitation to be quiet.  And when I seek out some of this solitude I feel the angst of the year’s ending.  Hunger, violence, racial inequity, addiction to gratification all want to crowd out the hope that the birth of a child born in love and poverty brings.

It reminds me of a favorite Christmas quote from Rilke:    “Dear Mr. Kappus, celebrate Christmas in this devout feeling, that perhaps He needs this very anguish of yours in order to begin; these very days of your transition are perhaps the time when everything in you is working at Him, as you once worked at Him in your childhood, breathlessly. Be patient and without bitterness, and realize that the least we can do is to make coming into existence no more difficult for Him than the earth does for spring when it wants to come.”

It gives me solace that even the paradoxical and the contradictory can be their own prayer and communion.  Who would have thought that these can be devout feelings?  I thank you Mr. Rilke for putting words to this meandering meditation.  May we all do this breathlessly.  Gratitude can take so many forms.  What draws you to your devout feelings?  When do you feel breathless?

KC Young, OP

Kirkland, WA 


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