I learned to value and appreciate the liturgical year when I first entered the convent. Those early days of training focused a lot on the liturgical seasons. We steeped ourselves in the Scriptural readings of the day and seasonal music. It was there I identified the grace of longing. Ahh, I thought. I am an Advent woman. Longing and waiting have been a key faith identifier within me to this day.
Whatever does that have to do with this Christmastide? Again, in the Novitiate years, I came across a great spiritual writer: Rainer Maria Rilke and his ‘Letter to a Young Man.’ I have leaned into this quote of his for decades now. “. . celebrate Christmas in this devout feeling, that perhaps God needs this very anguish of yours in order to begin, . . . It has not always been ‘anguish’. Though this year there has been plenty of that in the world. I often substitute the word ‘longing’ in there. Each day as I set out anew, I ponder how am I longing, what am I longing for this day? Where my treasure/longing/anguish is, there is My Heart. Do you know your deepest longing? How might you celebrate it?
KC Young, OP