Every year when the Christmas music starts up, I notice some resistance in my soul to "getting in the spirit." My life is where it is, joyful or not, and I don't really want an added layer of pressure to be feeling a certain way about it. Maybe it's partly the knowledge that Christmas is a painful time of year for many whom I've been privileged to come to know in my work as a therapist.
How often we hear that we're supposed to tune into the true meaning of Christmas. But finding a deeper sense of Christmas in our noisy culture can feel like listening to a crucial play of a football game on the radio when the signal keeps fading in and out.
There's one thought from a monk, Meister Eckhart, who lived seven hundred years ago, that centers me on what Christmas is about more than anything else I've found. I've shared it before, but it's worth sharing again.
What good is it to me that Mary gave birth to the Son of God fourteen hundred years ago, and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be mothers of God. God is always needing to be born. —Meister Eckhart
Here's an added bonus, a gift I hope you will give to yourself this Christmas. Check out a treasure trove of Meister Eckhart quotes here. He has become an important spiritual companion to me. Perhaps you will discover, as I have, several nuggets from his life's work that have the power to travel across the centuries and nourish your spirit. Be aware that he often wrote in a poetic and paradoxical way that got him in trouble with those who were intent on defining orthodoxy. When, for instance, he writes, "I pray to God to rid me of God," he means that he needs to lose all his human ideas of God so that he can encounter the infinite God that is beyond all understanding. But a literal interpretation of lines like that had the Inquisition still pursuing him on his deathbed.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a New Year in which you help God be born into your world every day.