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 

Kirkland, WA 


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