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25 December, 2015 - A child is born to us

   

   
 

   

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On the eve of Christmas, at 11:30 PM, the whole community of Gethsemani rose from their sleep and gathered in the church to celebrate the birth of Christ into this world.

         
 

We sang hymns, carols, read from scripture, and celebrated the eucharist, surrounded by decoration and liturgy reflecting the full flavour of the season.

At the morning mass, our abbot reflected on the meaning of Christ's presence to us in the world. He quoted St. Bernard saying:

 

 

   

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O humankind, you need not sail across the seas or pierce the clouds or cross the Alps! No grand way is being shown to you. Run to your own self to meet your God! “The Word is near you, on your lips and in your heart!” Run to compunction of heart and confession of lips to escape at least the dunghill of a wretched conscience, for there the author of purity cannot appropriately enter.

         
 

Fr. Elias then added:

To call it a little way and a little distance is not to say it is easy. Nothing is nearer and more constantly with us than our conscience and our true self: and yet how inaccessible they can seem. This is part of the Christmas paradox. The infant Savior inhabits our frail, vulnerable and dependent state humbly and purely. Our only way to meet him there is through the door of compunction and sorrow for our wrongs, the one door we most avoid, and the short little journey we most resist taking.

 

 

   

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This Christmas and in this Year of Mercy may we each receive the grace to travel this little way and to go this little distance, both to receive mercy and to become merciful.

- Fr. Elias, Christmas Homily 2015

   
 

 

   

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