Almost every year, at some point on Christmas Day, I find myself in tears. You might say it's a tradition - not planned and anticipated like wrapping presents or making my eggnog cheesecake, but just what spontaneously seems to happen. I think it's largely because of attending Midnight Mass at the Ranchos church the night before, the way it opens and softens me. Also, being up so late means I'm tired on Christmas Day, and that adds to my feeling of vulnerability.
This Christmas crying is not a bad thing. As Kahlil Gibran pointed out, sorrow and joy are inseparable. And for either to exist, the heart has to be open.
Christmas is about the birth of a baby - the most vulnerable, crying kind of creature there is. When the Holy Child is born in my heart, joy cracks the brittleness inside me a little bit more, and I see the remaining brittleness more clearly. The desire to freely and fully love is ignited anew but starkly contrasted against that, I see where I still fail, where I am still frozen in fear and resistance, and in noticing that, a little of it melts into tears.
Though God’s wisdom and holiness remind us of our limitations, it is precisely within these limitations that wisdom is often revealed. The incarnation represents the moment in which this wisdom enters the human sphere in all its contradictions, so that nothing is left without transformation and transfiguration.
~ William J. Danaher Jr. (via Edge of Enclosure)
So here I am the day after, and I can treasure these insights and begin again. It's perfect that the new year begins soon after Christmas; I can plant seeds in this darkness and water them with these tears, and watch a new thing grow. The light has been reborn, the world has been reborn, and I am in these movements too. This beautiful day is mine to live, to surrender and surrender to the flow of grace in each moment. And when I fail, to surrender again.
Always we begin again.
~ St. Benedict