December 26, 2022
Filed In: Family Life
With last week's brutal winter weather came all sorts of inconveniences. Plans changed, businesses closed, and flights were cancelled. In a way, it was appropriate that this massive storm caused us all to pause in the closing weeks of the year.
As the cold set in on Friday evening, we sat down to dinner. The Advent wreath was giving off plenty of light and, as we all made our way through the meal, the power went out.
The soft glow of the tree plunged into darkness; suddenly, our only source of light was the four burning candles. For a moment, I was confused. The overhead light was clearly out, but the brightness of the candles didn’t lead to a major reduction in overall light.
The kids became very excited, and Alison proposed lighting a fire. A few minutes later, we were all on the rug in front of the fireplace, wrapped up in blankets, enjoying a silent night.
At that moment, with the fire as the only source of light and heat in the house, I felt a very close connection to the Holy Family. It’s easy to imagine in the cold, damp caves, deep in winter, Joseph, Mary, and their newborn child huddled around a fire to keep warm. There’s no distraction, no agenda; there’s only presence.
A silent night, a holy night, in a cave in a rural town, an anonymous family witnessed the singular event that changed all of human history. In those ordinary moments, they thought not of the challenges ahead, but of the peace and quiet joy of the night.
May we all experience that serenity this Christmas season.