Forty-five years ago, our dear Sister Dolores penned this Christmas reflection, which appeared in an issue of Spirit&Life magazine. Its beautiful sentiment remains true to this day.
My love shall never leave you… (Is. 54:10)
It will soon be Christmas, Lord, and I’m not ready!
Every year it comes too quickly and I want to say: slow down.
Why is each Christmas so elusive?
When I was a child I used to dream that I’d missed it, missed Your birthday, and I’d wake up crying.
I still feel that way sometimes: that I’m missing what Christmas really means.
But do any of us really understand? Can we?
You are the eternal Son of the eternal Father.
And without losing Your eternity, you are also the Son of Mary, born in time.
You are one of us forever.
You weren’t loaned to us by a grudging God who quickly snatched You back to His heaven.
You were given to us by a prodigal Father who wants His heaven full of children.
In the Old Testament this Father spoke to us in different ways.
The prophets spoke His message with a fire that still burns in the pages of Scripture.
But in You the Father has spoken His last word, his final, irrevocable word.
In You He has said all He has to say.
He has said to a world that is cold and dark and hungry and poor: I love you. I will always be with you.
The Father has given You to us to prove His age-old love.
He has given You to us so that we can know Him – know Him by heart.
You came to us a tiny child: You, the infinite God.
Wherever You wanted to go then, Mary’s arms had to carry You.
Whatever You needed then, her love had to provide.
And that was the pattern of Your whole life.
You accepted all our limitations.
You were as confined, as tired, as bothered, as neglected and as unappreciated as we often find ourselves to be.
You didn’t change these things. You accepted them.
All of You: body and soul, mind and heart, was engaged in the adventure of life.
And in that life You are God’s answer to the doubts that sometimes grip us when we think of all the evil and misery in the world.
You are His continued ‘Yes’ to His creation.
In You He says that He has not made a mistake with us!
That He will never give us up.
Because in You we are forever His own.
You have come into our world.
You have accepted its conditions.
As one of us You conquered in Your failure.
And You gave us the power to conquer even in failure and suffering, mostly in failure and suffering.
You are ours, for You have never left us.
The child in the stable, the man on the cross, the Lord in high heaven.
They are the same. They are Yourself.
You came the first time as savior.
You always come as savior.
Then, come, Lord Jesus!
Come, even though I’m not ready, even though I don’t understand.
Come this Christmas, come to save us.
Come, light the candles in our hearts, the candles that never burn out.