At this time of year there is so much joy and life in the darkness of winter. Christ who brings such hope in the mystery of the little cave and in the humility of coming so gently into the world to rest with the poor and the powerless. I think a lot about Mary and her courage and love in the midst of this darkness; her joy, her worries, her responsibilities and her ultimate trust in something much greater than all of us. Her trust in that great mystery which had brought her to the manger in the first place. I think of Joseph; her quiet and valiant protector who must have had to grow in trust and strength in order to rise to the challenge of being so close to the humanity and divinity of the little baby he looked upon that night in Bethlehem. Bernadette said whenever you can't pray go to Saint Joseph because he knows how to speak to Mary and Jesus- he was husband and father- no one was closer yet he is so often forgotten about. Before she was found to be intact and exhumed Bernadette lay in the little chapel of St Joseph. This seems fitting.
Christmas is also a lovely time to reflect and sometimes that brings a little sadness. I have been reading about the FOCA bill which Obama plans to pass in the US when he becomes President in January. In England most of those things contained within the FOCA bill are already being practised and it is a terrible thing. America has held fast for many years and this is important considering its population. The possible implications of this bill fill me with a deep sadness especially at a time when we gather round the crib. Do not forget the unborn - as Mother Teresa reminds us- it was the unborn child, John the Baptist, who leaped for joy; who first recognised the incredible identity of Jesus. It fills me with joy that American Catholics are up and fighting already. I join my prayers to theirs and though I may be far away I am thinking of them and their noble mission. We should never give up hope for we have been told- 'My immaculate heart will triumph' and if the Christmas story teaches us anything it is that trust is key.
The photograph is of 'Our Lady of the Waters' the statue Bernadette said bore the closest likeness to Our Lady .