Keeping Christmas Well

I love Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I find it a beautiful story of conversion, and of what can happen to us when we allow the (Holy) Spirit to work in our lives (reluctant as we sometimes are). We’re told at the tale’s end that Scrooge “knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” His conversion – and ours – comes to its fullness through the learning of this lesson.

And how can we keep Christmas well? In the Infancy Narratives we hear of Anna the Prophetess, who, upon recognizing the reality of the Word-Made-Flesh, “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.” When the wonder of the Incarnation fills our hearts, gratitude and praise pour forth.

Often at Christmastime, some Sisters will put together a play or skits for some in-house entertainment. This year I suggested putting on A Christmas Carol. I don’t think I – or anyone else – knew quite what we were getting into, much as I’m sure Mary and Joseph felt through those first weeks of Jesus’ Infancy. As we have worked together over the last several weeks, it has been a joy to see Sisters allowing themselves to be stretched, working with one another in unexpected ways, rising to the occasion, and flourishing in their roles. Like Anna, I believe I have glimpsed God’s face in these grace-filled moments of encountering Christ in my Sisters.

We don’t know what Anna said when she recognized the Lord, but perhaps it was echoed centuries later through the mouth of Tiny Tim: “God bless us, everyone!”

~ Written by Sister M. Anna Joseph

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