You can’t find it in the catechism, but the book of life teaches us that in dark times, we of faith go deeper or we quit. Deeper and more tenaciously into our practice of faith and all its daily disciplines.
The longer we live, the more we know life is a journey into the night, and we go deeper into that night.
We go deeper into the manger and all it means.
We go deeper into the Passion.
We go deeper into the tomb.
We go deeper and we find solace, because we know others have gone before us, and because we know that when there’s less of “me” in control, there’s more for God to reveal and sustain us.
Christmas finds its place on the calendar very close to the winter solstice, because Christmas is our winter solace. We get through the longest nights of our lives when the lights of faith in Christ lead the way.
The tough pandemic times continue, now with Omicron, and in many ways are dramatically worsening — again. But we take heart from those who, for centuries, have found light, hope, solidarity, inspiration and meaning in the midst of plagues, persecutions, poverty, exile and all the worst realities a human can endure. No saints are made in leafy suburbs, nor in a life of leisure. Nor can we get through adversity skimming the surface of superficial religious practice. From the first page of Genesis to the birth of Jesus, God is found with us in the depths of night and in the depths of silence.
If the COVID-19 virus and all its variants have a tenacity, an ability to mutate, to persevere despite all efforts to wipe it out, who are we, people of God, to quit our walk with Christ even one minute early? To fall short on the journey and turn back, one step too soon?