Monday, December 24, 2007

Clarity and Hope

He has visited and redeemed his people
. . . that we might serve him without fear . . . to give light
to those who sit in darkness . . . to guide our feet
into the way of peace.

Luke 1:68, 73, 79

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m using a booklet produced by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, entitled Winter’s Wisdom, as my Advent “guide” this year.

Today, being Christmas Eve, I thought I’d share the following from Winter’s Wisdom. It’s the reflection for December 24 and is written by Rose McLarney, CSJ, of St. Louis, Missouri.

Promises of Joy and Peace? But there is still oppression of peoples and nations going on in our world! Just as Mary pondered how she could be pregnant, so we may ponder how we can be Joyful and live in Peace in the midst of hardship and heartache. For me, the key words are “to give light to those who sit in darkness.” God enters our world to give light and to give Hope. When there is darkness we aren’t able to see what is before us. If I live in Hope, I live trusting that there is Goodness and Light even when I can’t see it. I live each day, looking for the presence and Goodness of God whether in be in happy events or in the struggles. God has visited us to guide us into the way of Peace.

I understand “light” in this context to mean awareness or, better still, clarity. I remember interviewing “modern-day mystic” Chuck Lofy for CPCSM’s Rainbow Spirit journal in 2005, and resonating with his understanding of clarity:

I think clarity is the great gift. It means to be clear, aware of one’s thoughts and actions. Clarity comes from knowing what the facts are, doing your own inner reflection, and dialoguing with others – including those who can help you get to your unconscious resistance. This is what I call the process of clarification, and it comes with a moral imperative. When I come to clarity, there’s such a realization of the calling of my deepest spiritual stirrings that I would be sinning against myself if I didn’t go with what’s become clear to me. Now, what motivates this process? It can be called by many names – the Divine, the Spirit Within, the Self, God. I like calling it the Universe.

And I like calling it the Christos, Christ, God’s eternal spirit of consciousness and compassion.

Whatever you call it, and however you understand it present in your life, may you be open to embodying it and sharing it with the world.

And may it bring you, and those around you, great joy, peace, and courage - and, yes, clarity and hope - in these often dark and difficult days.

Peace and Happy Christmas!

Image: “The Nativity” by Federico Fiori Barocci (1597).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Advent Thoughts
My Advent Prayer for the Church
Thomas Merton on “the Advent Mystery”
The Centered Life as an Advent Life
A Christmas Reflection by James Carroll
What We Can Learn from the Story of the Magi
An Australian Christmas

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