Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Very "Mary" Christmas...

I sat down next to one of the kids this morning, who very quietly while I hugged her said under her breath, "It doesn't feel like Christmas"...I hugged her tighter and wished her a Merry Christmas after all.  I have been blessed with a wonderful family, and this "is" Christmas, it is just a very "Mary" Christmas.

We received word that my father-in-law, Jules' - (noots to the kids), health is deteriorating, and we needed to get to Toronto.  It was somewhat of a whirlwind, but after a sober talk about the potential outcome of the trip, and the timing of it - we decided to open our gifts at home before flying out.  (I looked up to heaven, and said in my mind, "forgive us for celebrating early Jesus, we'll celebrate your birthday in a special way this year.")

Arriving to his side was such a comfort, not only to Jules, but to all of us.  There is sadness, but it is overcome by an abundance of love for this man that has been so good to us all, who now lays still with the brightest smile I have seen in a long time.  The countenance of his face changed, and he asked me to pray with him, for him.  I was reminded then how precious Christ had been in Jules' life, and his deep love of Holy Mass.  I remembered that I have been an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion for many years in my diocese, and wondered if I could bring communion to Jules in the hospital for Christmas.  I was very thankful to find that the priest at their local parish was willing to allow me to borrow a pyx and burse, and carry our precious Lord to this wonderful man.

I will never get over the thrill and awe of carrying a pyx which holds Our precious Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  A modern day creche perhaps, secure around my neck in the burse.  Since he would miss Mass, we went to the readings for the Midnight Mass of the Nativity, each sharing a reading circled around his bed.  It was truly glorious.  When I brought the portion of consecrated host to Jules to consume- he appeared to have the light of Christ, the joy of our Lord become a part of him.  After a while, we sang silent night together, and watched Jules mouth the words along with us.

Our special time we had, at that moment was every bit of what Christmas celebration should be.  It reminded me of being present at the very manger Christ had been born to, all of us revelling in the greatest gift of all, the light of Christ.  No messy floor from Christmas paper, no sounds of Andy Williams crooning our favorite carols, no turkey in the oven - just a quiet room, filled with a very present Saviour, Wonderful Counselor, almighty God - in our very midst.  It is a very "Mary" Christmas, because this is how she celebrated - quietly gazing in awe and wonder at the face of God.

While I really do love the paper strewn, carol crooning, and cooking kind of Christmas - I can honestly say that I cannot imagine another Christmas now, without a quiet moment of gazing in my mind on a very special glimpse of the original Creche - and the countenance of his beautiful mother Mary.

With love, and Thanksgiving,
Merry Christmas everyone!!