1. The Light and Silence. Christmas is the day when the Light is born symbolizing the continuous re-birth of goodwill, hope and love in the world. Try to find some silent moments amidst the joyful whirls of the Christmas feast! If you listen intensely, silence suddenly will turn to Silence in which your heartbeat will become the common wish, hope and joy of your beloved ones, their beloved ones and the whole love-network of mankind.
2. The humble, serving love. At the original Christmas the birth of Light was surrounded by the love and humility of the Holy Family. Think about, if you love those ones humble enough whom you love the most? Christmas is the celebration of creativity. Humility gives direction and meaning to creativity and thus helps goodwill and love expand in the world.
3. Christmas as a state of life. Christmas experienced in humble, but intensive attention towards others' totality may become a state of life. Christmas as a state of life expands our spirit, sensitizing it both to accept and give joy and the love of Jesus. With this Christmas as a state of life places us on the Path which is nothing else but our lives seeking for the right. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a lot of joy on this Path!
1. The Light and Silence
Christmas is the day when the Light is born symbolizing the continuous re-birth of goodwill, hope and love in the world. The birth of Light and Hope is a moment of not an exuberant rejoice, but more of touched silence with bated breath. Try to find some silent moments amidst the joyful whirls of the Christmas feast! You will hear the beating of your heart in these moments of intimate silence. If you listen intensely, silence suddenly will turn to Silence in which your heartbeat will become the common wish, hope and joy of your beloved ones, their beloved ones and the whole love-network of mankind. A Miracle has happened. The Light was born within us, too! The Star of Bethlehem shines in our soul. The joyful, inner Silence of Jesus gives enlargement in love. This Silence is organizing everything to the good in us, and becomes a taste of the Completeness of the Father, which is promised by the Light born also in us at Christmas.
Jesus gave us the opportunity to become the children of God by exiting the timelessness of eternity and entering the linear, finite time of earthly existence. The first two words of the Lord’s Prayer give one of the strongest expressions of this gospel. Jesus has arisen us to be His own brothers and sisters with these two words: ’Our Father’. He has shown that His incarnation, life, death and resurrection made God our both common and personal Father.
In one of his 1543 sermons, Martin Luther compared the incarnation of Jesus to a ladder that Jesus has stretched between the Sky and the Earth and descended on it to let us ascend to God. One of the central principles (the five solas: sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus and soli Deo gloria) of Luther and the reformation (being 500 years old this year) was that the Way of Jesus is the only way leading to God (John 14:6b) Jesus not only opens and shows the Way but protects us along the Path, too. St. Teresa of Ávila in her book "The Interior Castle" warns that when our spirit gets out of the comfortable status of its everyday earthly existence, and starts its Way to God, it becomes highly unprotected at the beginning of the Path. The spirit may here very easily get lost and often gets astray. Only the help of Jesus saves the spirit from this.
The frequent mistakes at the starting steps of the spirit’s Way to God resembles to the adaptation of complex systems to the change of their environment. When a complex system leaves a stable state (attractor) and goes to another stable state (attractor), its trajectories have a high scatter and the system may visit hidden attractors, which have never been explored before. As an example for this, cancer attractors are those hidden traps in which the cell, that became over-stressed by its environment (and by its own genome), moving from its original status may walk into on its journey looking for a better life. The starting state of the spirit’s Path is the earthly existence. The ultimate attracting Center (attractor) is God Himself. On the Path the protection is given by Jesus. How nice it would be if tumor cells could be directed and protected on their journey looking for a better life instead of plunging them into more and more bitter adventures with persistent attacks. Starting concepts of this new, 'tumor pacifying therapies' are about to be born (see here , and here).
2. The humble, serving love
What did surround the birth of Light and Hope at the original Christmas? At the most internal circle the love and humility of the Holy Family did. Pope Francis summarized the importance of humility in the history of Christmas as quoted here: "It is about the greatness that God brought about humble people, such greatness that the Lord makes with the humble in the world because humility is like emptiness that gives ground to God. Humble people have power: just because they are humble and not because they are strong. This is the greatness of humble people and humility." Let me highlight the most important sentence for me: "humility gives ground to God". How many and many are we who have almost never allowed to speak this immensely beautiful core of our spirit? Christmas is a great occasion to change this. At the celebration of love it is worth thinking also about whether we love those ones with enough humility whom we love the most. Do we help them only in a way how we ourselves have planned and wanted? Or – with large humility and openness – do we feel the way their desire of becoming better leads them? Do we help evolve this desire in them?
Christmas is the celebration of humble creativity, too. Christmas is creative not only in the sense of preparing smart gifts for our beloved ones. The creativity of value is humble. This true creativity does not keep asserting that "I am so much creative" but it helps the inner dreams of the beneficiary to be realized. Humility acts beyond opening new dimensions, it gives meaning and purpose to creativity. The creativity of humility helps goodwill and love expand in the world. The creativity of humility is not a single act but a continuously growing state of being that expands beyond the individual. With this the creativity of humility becomes more than both the creativity of the donator and the dreams of the beneficiary together. The totality of the creativity of humility includes all the goodness that mankind has ever given – and received. With this the creativity of humility, in its deepest sense, becomes Mercy itself. This is what we can experience and help expand at Christmas. (If you want to read more about humility, please click to this essay.)
The creativity of humility connects us with others. Human relationships can only grow by love: hate imprisons us behind the walls of closed communities. Positive expressions are much more frequent in the 10 most spread languages than the negative ones. Positive evaluations increase positive self-image and in a self-reinforcing circle they get back to the initiator of the love stream. Happiness is, indeed, the by-product of working towards the happiness of someone other than yourself.
3. Christmas as a state of life
(Photos of cardinal Christoph Schönborn
were made at the 2016 conference of the European Council for High Ability)
What is needed to feel and experience the totality of Christmas? Attention. Focusing on the moment, giving our whole self to the other one, recognizing nothing else, bearing no barriers, just giving TOTAL attention. This TOTAL attention creates such an intensive quality time, when time itself stops, and we may keep this precious memory forever.
And the child grew, and waxed strong, full
of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age,
and grace with God and men. (Luke 2:40,52)
Christmas experiencing the totality may become a state of life. Light becomes born in us at each and every moment of our lives again – and again. If we can feel this, we will recognize how beautiful life is. Christmas as a state of life senses, unifies and expands the bits and pieces of everyday joy, it makes us responsive and sensitive to accept and give joy, and to transmit the Gospel of Salvation and the love of Jesus. With this acceptance and transmission Christmas as a state of life becomes a well-deserved and much-honored joy, the earthly image of transcendent joy. The Light, which is being born and reborn within us enlarges us and shows the center of our inner Self. Christmas as a state of life harmonizes our feelings, and gives purity to our thoughts. Experiencing the immersion to the world’s love-stream opens out our inner spaces explosively. It shows our real, deep feelings, gives security and places us on the Path which is nothing else but our lives seeking for the right. (If you want to read more about this, please click to my 2018. Good Friday/Easter essay here.)
I wish all the Readers a Merry Christmas
and a lot of joy on this Path!
Postscript: I would like to apologize that my native language is not English. I am especially not familiar with English phrases concerning spiritual life. I would like to ask all Readers whose native language is English to send any corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for your help (and patience) in advance! (I hope as time passes there will be fewer and fewer mistakes in the text.)