As we look back on this Christmas season, we realize that it has been like none most of us can remember. It was, as it always is, a season of both darkness and light. We know that both are holy. As Louis Armstrong sings, “I see the bright blessed day/ the dark sacred night/ and I think to myself/ what a wonderful world.” But there are two kinds of darkness. There is the darkness that shelters dreams, seeds in the Earth, babies in the womb. It’s the darkness of the midnight blue sky during these long winter nights. The other kind of darkness harbors hatred and war, divisions, fear, and isolation. It’s the careless disregard for life that diminishes the crushing sorrow of three hundred thousand empty places at our Christmas gatherings. But in the incarnation, God became human, plunging into both kinds of darkness, showing us how to cherish the first, sacred kind and resist the second, destructive kind.
By Mara Faulkner, OSB