Thursday December 14, 2017

Reflection: Celebrating the Birth of Christ

As Christmas approaches, it?s nice to take time to quietly reflect on the beauty and blessings in our lives.

By Susan Ferguson, Director of the Center for Catholic Education

On Saturday, December 2 the Forum for Young Catechetical Leaders met at UD’s River Campus.  Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, Director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, created an inspirational and moving experience for the participants in the Forum.  During Advent and the Christmas season River Campus temporarily houses a number of ethnically diverse, culturally crafted crèches from around the world.  Sister provided each participant with a purple Advent journal and asked us to record our first impressions of the crèches, influences on how we thought about the Nativity story, sparks to the religious imagination, memories of the scene for animating the spirit of Christmas, and finally a simple prayer of gratitude before each crèche set.  We were given 30 minutes for the experience, but for many, it would have been enjoyed much longer.  What a gift to spend time in reflection as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ!

On Tuesday, December 5 I remembered I had been asked to provide an opening prayer for the Department of Teacher Education Christmas lunch to be held the next day.  I reviewed some prayers and found just the right one!  One of the lines in the prayer said, ”Let my heart be your manger.  Prepare that quiet place where peace and joy are born again.”  How perfectly this prayer matched the experience I had with the Forum! 

This is my Christmas prayer for you -- that your heart be the place where the Christ child rests.  May God grant you blessings of peace and joy as you hold his Son near during this season and throughout the coming year!

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