Today is the traditional Feast of the Epiphany, when the Wise Men arrived to see and worship the baby Jesus. I wrote this Chaucerian stanza on Sunday, when the Epiphany was observed at Mass. The Magi certainly had a sense of anticipation as the journeyed such a long distance to find Jesus, and they were privileged to witness the unfathomable mystery of God becoming a human baby.
Astronomers who’d journeyed from afar
Rejoiced to lay their treasures at His feet,
Trusting there was a Light beyond their star:
True King and God, whom death could not defeat.
In Mary’s arms the Savior they did greet,
Their Lord, their great reward at journey’s end.
Now to all people Christ’s life still extends.
I have a book of quotations from this beloved Archbishop, one for each day of the year, and this is the one for today. The book was a Christmas gift from my parents, who aren’t even Catholic, but they know how much I love this guy!
The first thing I think of when I look at the word “Memento” is always, “Memento Mori” — “Remember you will die.” Isn’t that such a fun thing to think about on Christmas? Thinking more about it, however, I realized it’s more appropriate than one might realize: Yes, today is a joyous day when Jesus was born, but He came into the world to save humanity, because everyone was lost without Him. He came into the world, ultimately, to die in a horrible way and then to conquer death by rising again.
As a newborn child, Jesus was placed in a manger — a place where animals ate from. This foreshadowed Him becoming the Bread of Life and giving us Himself.
I’m not a theologian, but that’s just what I’m thinking of, reflecting on Jesus’s birth and the fact that, because He is God, he knew the reason for which He came, even from the first instant. Even His birth foreshadows His death. Thankfully, “Memento Mori” does not have to be too dark of a phrase because death is not the end; death is only a new beginning.
This is a photo that I took this morning before Mass. I was struck by the fact that, among all the Christmas trees and happy decorations, Jesus was on the crucifix. Interesting juxtaposition, yet very appropriate.
Merry Christmas to everyone, even if you’re not Christian! Happy day! 😀
On this Christmas Eve day, for Fandango’s Flashback Friday, it took me a while to decide what to share. I looked back at many of my posts from past Decembers, and that brought back a lot of memories. It’s always fun to rediscover your own writing. 😀 I found this sonnet from almost exactly 2 years ago; I posted it on Christmas Day of 2019, copied below.
Lower the Christmas decorations
From their place in the cabinets and rafters,
Raise voices in song and celebration
Even while decorating for that day,
Holding space inside hearts for the
Christ-child to come, even while
Mourning for too many saddening absences.
Blogging is, of course, a form of journaling, especially with some of the very honest poems that I have been posting. Offline, I write a lot more poetry, usually at least 4 or 5 poems a day, in response to prompts and/or what happens during my day. I also write in a normal journal daily, which I have been doing since December of 2007.
Part of the reason why I put so many poems about depression and stuff on here is precisely because I don’t know most of you in person. Some of my “real life” friends also read my blog, and it can be a bit awkward. For example, this conversation occurred a week or two ago:
Friend: “How have you been lately?”
Me, because I seem to be unable to lie: “Uhhhh….”
Friend: “I saw your blog post.”
I also put a lot of Jesus-y poems on here because I am very happy to be a Catholic Christian. Yes, my life is messed up, far from ideal, but Jesus makes it better; when I have no hope, He is the hope. ❤
I think it’s kind of funny that those are my top 2 topics: depression and Jesus. I think the topic that wins third place is coffee.
In honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus, I wrote this cinquain. It’s no secret that we Catholics love Mary — some non-Catholic Christians think that we place too much emphasis on her, without realizing that she actually brings us closer to Jesus — and today is a special, holy day honoring Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Continue reading →