From Season of Promises
Marriage, which seems to us to be such a wonderful consummation of love, is only a faint shadow, a kind of symbol, of the wedding of the Spirit of God to humanity; and it is from that wedding that Christ is born into the world. (Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God)
Christmas Eve, the day before the deep and holy Feast of the Incarnation. The day before. Can it be? Is Advent over already? “Time went by so quickly,” wrote singer/songwriter John Stewart, “that I didn’t see it go. / But I never saw it coming so how was I to know?”
That’s life, and that’s Advent. Over so quickly.
Time, sacred time. Weeks gone so soon, and now we verge on Christmas. It’s such a great mystery that we find ourselves stammering in the face of the goodness and silence and joy of it all. We find ourselves reaching out to claim, once again, the spirit of childhood. This is what we do on Christmas Eve. We long to know for at least a moment the spirit of childhood which is the true spirit of Christmas. Dear God, let me be a child again on Christmas Eve, if only for a moment.
We wait, we wait. We pray. We breathe deeply and wait, hoping for the grace of Christmas to bring us the whistling, wondering, bright-eyed spirit of childhood. We pray for this gift because we long to be like Christ in every way, even in his childhood. To receive Christmas in our heart we need to regain on Christmas Eve, if only for an instant, the spirit of the childhood of Christ.
Let it be, then. Let us pray to receive the spirit of childhood on Christmas Eve, if only for an instant, so we may be ready to receive the Christ Child in our heart. Let it be. Let it be.
Lord Jesus, Son of God and son of Mary, give me the spirit of childhood on this Christmas Eve that I might know the true spirit of Christmas. Amen.