The Force awakens

A SPIRITED SOUL - Jeannie E. Javelosa - The Philippine Star

After a number of times I was requested to lead a group prayer before mealtime celebrations this holiday season, a friend of mine asked me, “Just out of curiosity, when you pray, why do you always say Universe or Light? Why not God?” My answer to her was that the word or concept of “God” is so loaded with meaning, with so many cultural nuances and ideas about God’s identity and attributes. So much killing has been in the name of God. So much representations on behalf of this word, name or concept has spurred man’s search for Truth, and has likewise brought out man’s shadows. Spiritual or religious belief systems are formed from one’s faith, and the seeking of what each of us term as our truth.

“Yes, but why Light?” was her next question. My response was to point to the Genesis creation narrative that “in the beginning there was darkness, and then there was light.” This was light that emerged from the darkness as the potent energy force of the creation of the world. “Too deep! You should have faith and just believe,” my religious friend concluded. And so I stopped the conversation there remembering many such similar exchanges in the past when religious concepts were discussed.

This conversation came back to me as I sit here before the altar in silence and prayer. Outside, I could hear the faint sounds of Christmas carols being played. I had just left a harried crowd of people busy with their shopping, gifts and menu planning for the Noche Buena gatherings. Flashing through my mind, images from the news, of wars, poverty, selfish human-created-ills. So much sin, greed, lust, hatred, avarice and oppression and injustice, or the wanton destruction of the earth all bred by the free wills of men. Another Christmas suddenly here. Another holiday season fast moving to become past. And is the world really celebrating in moving through time-honored traditions of Christmas? In the attempt of putting as much food on the holiday table as one’s budget could muster? There is fake merriment in the news as leaders speak about peace and yet more wars come about. There are tinsel halos and unending selfies to capture the narcissistic moment while actually missing the presence of the moment.

I shrug….have I grown old and cynical to have forgotten what Christmas of my innocent youth was all about? The tiredness of life, the rat-race of work, the seeming endless activities pushed by ego, just took over me as I sat there, eyes on the image of the Cross before me. How morbid, I thought to myself. I was doing a Lenten, instead of a Nativity meditation. So much darkness and heaviness around...

And suddenly, a voice inside my head whispered…this is what it is all about…as, deep within me, peace beyond understanding suddenly arises. A sweet gentle presence of Peace. So quiet…so very quiet. Then the image of the Christ child emerged in my mind’s eye. A force awakens in my tired heart as I see this image of an innocent baby.

Here was the symbol of Christmas to renew us with Hope. So quietly Jesus came into the world, worked His mission to awaken us to walk His path with spiritual vitality, in service to mankind. That in this darkness, came Light, and that Light embodied itself in the Master Christ Jesus. How His grace has allowed the human race to recover each time, each year, through the centuries….to allow men and women to overcome evil with good, greed with charity, hatred with healing love. How Jesus as Love pushes us beyond our little selves so we can give more to others, and in the process embody the Light to help the world become a better place.

Peace, Grace, Hope, Love, Light — all concepts, too, like the name of God, the Cosmos, the Universe, by which we each give our own meaning vis-à-vis our individual understanding and truth. By each, we embody or live by.

Peace, Grace, Hope, Love, Light…these are all what the spirit of Christmas is about. 

Sacred Christ-mass to all!












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