Depressed or lonely at Christmas? (and the winter solstice)

photoWednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer

Our spirits by thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

                                                                                                          ~ O Antiphons

There sometimes can be a lot of depression swirling around at Christmas.

People can feel lonelier because we’re expected to be more cheerful and we may just not feel it.

This blog is meant for us to pray and reach out and notice these folks.

Let’s be with folks who have lost a loved one and who still miss them.

With kids who are shuffled back from one parent to another to “celebrate” the holidays.

With soldiers far away from home and from their families.

And so, may we pray:

There are sometimes dark clouds in our lives, Lord.
Pierce the gloominess of our lives with Your very own Light.
May we allow You to dawn in us and on us this day.
May we be ready for Your dawning in a new way in our lives this Christmas.
May this celebration of Jesus’ birth bring meaning and joy in the midst of our worries and concerns.
And may we BE the dawning of  your light and love and justice
in our homes, our neighborhoods, our jobs, our world.

And there are dark and ominous clouds over our world right now, Lord.
Pierce our greed and hate, fear and complacency, violence with hope, Lord.
May we pray earnestly for a new dawn for our beloved country and our world.                                         We 
need healing in our nation right now, Lord.
May we BE the dawning of  your light and love and justice in our land.

Lord Jesus, come!  May we be ready for the dawn of your coming in a new way this Christmas,
May the light of that dawning transform our lives and our land.
We need Your Light and Your Love more than ever.

COME LORD JESUS!

And this morning the Winter Solstice occurred  in the northern hemisphere at 5:44am. It’s the shortest day of the year, and is a major celebration for our pagan brothers and sisters, most notably at Stonehenge in Great Britain.  I do not use the term pagan pejoratively; they are the peoples who are reverently close to the earth.

Did you know the date of Christmas was taken from the winter solstice because it marks, in the northern hemisphere, the beginning of the ascendency of the sun? It connotes the phrase in Scripture in which John the Baptist says the “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30).  And the Baptist’s feast day, likewise is near the summer solstice on June 24th.  Thus, the church did not hesitate to borrow from the existing pagan customs.  Christmas trees, for example, came from Germany and the wreath symbolized eternity were again pagan customs.

Did you know that in the middle ages they lit real candles on their Christmas trees?  How ’bout that? Times were more  quiet and peaceful back then, with less anger to upset the trees, I would surmise, and more well-behaved kids?

Some Christians today misunderstand our “cross-enculturation”  of things that once had a pagan origin and sometimes berate those of us who celebrate Christmas.

Now before you go, here’s a charming version of Tiny Tim’s “God bless us, everyone” from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, composed and sung by Andrea Bocelli. Click here. Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.

And here are today’s Mass readings, if you would like to reflect on them. Click here.

Advent Day 21 ~ Depressed or lonely at Christmas?

photo

 

O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer

Our spirits by thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

O Antiphons

MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT

There sometimes can be a lot of depression swirling around at Christmas.

People can feel lonelier because we’re expected to be cheerier and some of us just don’t feel it.

This blog is meant for us to pray and reach out and notice these folks.

Let’s be with folks who have lost a loved one and still miss them.

With kids who are shuffled back from one parent to another to “celebrate” the holidays.

With soldiers far away from home and their families at home without them.

With refugees and immigrants far from their homelands and loved ones.

And so, may we pray:

There are sometimes dark clouds in our lives, Lord.
Pierce the gloominess of our lives with Your very own Light.
May we allow You to dawn in us this day.
May we be ready for Your dawning in a new way in our lives this Christmas.
May this celebration of Jesus’ birth bring meaning and joy in the midst of our worries and concerns.
And may we BE the dawning of  your light and love and justice
in our homes, our neighborhoods, our work places, our world.

And there are dark and ominous clouds over our world right now, Lord.
Pierce our greed and hate, fear and complacency and violence with hope, Lord.
May we pray earnestly for a new dawn for our beloved country and our world.
May we BE the dawning of  your light and love and justice in our land.

Lord Jesus, come!  May we be ready for the dawn of your coming in a new way this Christmas,
May the light of that dawning transform our lives and our land.
We need Your Light and Your Love more than ever.

Now, before you go, here’s an enjoyable music video for you. Click here. Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.

And here are today’s Mass readings, if you’d like to reflect on them.  Click here.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

 

ADVENT DAY 19 ~ DEPRESSED OR LONELY AT CHRISTMAS?

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O Root of Jesse,

Who stood as a sign for the people,

before you kings shall remain silent

to you the nations will make their prayer:

Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

~ O Antiphons

THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT

SOMETIMES, THERE CAN BE A LOT OF DEPRESSION SWIRLING AROUND AT CHRISTMAS.

PEOPLE CAN FEEL LONELIER BECAUSE WE’RE EXPECTED TO BE CHEERIER AND WE OFTEN DON’T FEEL VERY CHEERFUL.

I INVITE YOU TO TAKE TIME TO NOTICE THESE FOLKS, REACH OUT TO THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM.

CHRISTMASTIME IS AlWAYS HARD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE.  I HAVE TWO FRIENDS WHO HAVE LOST CHILDREN IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS.  AND I’VE TRIED TO BE THERE FOR THEM.   AND THEN LET’S ALL  BE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE IN NEWTON, CONNECTICUT.

THERE ARE OTHERS, TOO, WHO FIND CHRISTMAS  DIFFICULT .  .  . .

KIDS WHO ARE SHUFFLED BACK FROM ONE PARENT TO ANOTHER TO “CELEBRATE” THE HOLIDAYS.

SOLDIERS FAR AWAY FROM HOME AND THEIR FAMILIES AT HOME WITHOUT THEM.

AND SO, MAY WE PRAY:

THERE ARE SOMETIMES DARK CLOUDS IN OUR LIVES, LORD.
PIERCE THE GLOOMINESS OF OUR LIVES WITH YOUR VERY OWN LIGHT.

MAY THIS CELEBRATION OF JESUS’ BIRTH BRING MEANING AND JOY IN THE MIDST OF OUR WORRIES AND CONCERNS.

AND MAY WE BRING YOUR LIGHT AND LOVE AND JUSTICE
IN OUR HOMES, OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, OUR JOBS, OUR WORLD.

PIERCE OUR GREED, OUR HATE AND FEAR, OUR COMPLACENCY AND VIOLENCE WITH HOPE, LORD.

MAY WE PRAY EARNESTLY FOR OUR BELOVED COUNTRY AND OUR WORLD.
MAY WE BE THE DAWNING OF  YOUR LIGHT AND LOVE AND JUSTICE IN OUR LAND.

LORD JESUS, COME!

MAY YOUR LIGHT TRANSFORM OUR LIVES AND OUR LAND.
WE NEED YOUR LIGHT AND YOUR LOVE MORE THAN EVER.  

AND NOW BEFORE YOU GO, HERE’S ANOTHER SELECTION FROM HANDEL’S MESSIAH AS WE GET CLOSER TO CHRISTMAS ~ “O THOU THAT TELLEST GOOD TIDINGS TO ZION.”  CLICK HERE   

WITH LOVE 

BOB TRAUPMAN 

CONTEMPLATIVE WRITER

 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Quantcast
(Check this video out first!)
BE SURE TO ENTER FULL SCREEN.

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,
From Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half spent was the night

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind
With Mary we behold it,
The Virgin mother kind

To show God’s love aright,
She bore to us a Savior
When half spent was the night

The shepherds heard the story
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory
Was born on earth this night.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.


Here’s a very unusual spontaneous video of this lovely carol

by six young men in perfect pitch on a cold winter’s night.


Dear Friends,

I have the peaceful easy feelin’ that I’ve poured  some of my love into these writings and images.

And my own heart is ready to receive the special gift Jesus wants to give me this Christmas.

And I pray so very earnestly that you receive the special gift God wishes to give you as well.

Cleanse your heart of bitterness,  of selfishness and resentments.

Put aside unnecessary things.

Ask yourself what really is the meaning of your life?

For me the answer is to love as very best I can.

I am a flawed human being.  We all are.

Sometimes I miss the mark.

(That’s what sin is ~ “Hamartia in Greek: to miss the mark.”

But we also have gifts to share.

I have a lot of love in my heart to share with whomever would like to receive.

And I have some wisdom to share arising years of suffering from the heavy cross of manic depressive disorder.

But it’s also a gift and it keeps of giving.

So, I hope you have received something nourishing and sweet in the 24 posts I have been able to create this Advent.

They are my gift to you.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family or with a friend or two.

And if your Christmas is lonely with no one really special to share it with,

or if you are depressed or without a friend or if you are down on your luck

or don’t know where your next buck is gonna come from

or have lost a loved one at this time of year,

please know that you have someone here who understands and who reaches out to you from my heart to yours.

Be sure to open yourself to the holiness / the wholeness / the Peace of Christmas.

It is there beneath all the craziness and hype.  It is yours if you seek it and ask for it.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!

And now to close let’s let Handel have the last word:

Click here: GLORY TO GOD~PEACE ON EARTH~GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN!

BE SURE TO TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS AND ENTER FOR SCREEN.  Right next to where you are in You Tube you can end your celebration with the awesome coda of the Messiah WORTHY IS THE LAMB!

HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS WITH YOUR FAMILY!

We will be will be right back after Christmas.  As you might know we Catholics extend the celebration until the feast of the Epiphany ~ January 6th.

BEFORE YOU GO, IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED THESE POSTS WOULD YOU  LEAVE A COMMENT OR A THANK OR SOMETHIN’ IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW OR BOUNCE BACK AN EMAIL?

I WOULD GREATLY ‘PRECIATE IT FROM THE BOTTOM OF ME AROMATIC SOCKS!


With love,

Bob Traupman

Contemplative writer