I do have something on my mind. It’s been hard for me to put it into words.
This season of Advent, as I see so many sweet mamas and papas trying valiantly to go along patiently with the rhythm of the Church, living the time of waiting and anticipation so simply, despite all the difficulties, I am struck all the more by the great divide that opens up between those who believe in the Incarnation and those who do not.
Or I should say, in a world where the Incarnation is believed in, and one where it is not. Because even those who do not believe reap the benefit of the belief.
What I mean is, that where God became Man, the material world doesn’t slowly slip off into darkness.
Since our bodies — the bodies, you know, where so much happens that makes this life what it is — are in fact material — they are made of matter utterly united to soul, but matter still — this belief in God With Us turns out to be important.
We’ve now spent — we in this world of ours — all the goodness that came from the knowledge that God Himself took flesh. Unbelief is making its own kind of attitude toward goodness.
In the world where God isn’t thought to take flesh, flesh begins to stink — to be hated. You can pierce it and maul it and deface it. It becomes quite separate. Even new life can be manipulated in the frozen darkness — and the shock itself wears off. It can be done — God doesn’t change the laws He made just because people start to look at them differently.
Even new life can be managed, moved from one place and put in another — taken from its warm sanctuary and thrust into the coldness. Even the embrace of a man and a woman can be made to seem far from a gift and more like a taking or a transaction. Even a mother can become a kind of bought and sold thing. Even a father can be dispensed with.
But you — when you quietly light your candles and prepare room for Him as he makes His descent — you are doing well. You are building treasure up again for this weary planet.
Even if you aren’t sure…
When you look at His mother and see her beautiful unity (“Jerusalem with your compact unity!”) — see the heaven she carries within her, and love her — when you look at His good foster father — Joseph the Good — and see his loyalty, and love him, you are doing well.
Keep making a lovely small light in the darkness for the Light Who comes. It’s worth it for the whole world.