Awake, you who lie in the dust, awake and give praise. Behold, the Lord comes with salvation.
– St. Bernard of Clairvaux (190-1153)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
Upon those who lived in a land of gloom, a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing…
For the yoke that burdened them… The rod of their taskmaster, you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For a child is born for us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:1-3,5)
Never allow trials that pound like waves on a fragile shoreline leave you discouraged. Don’t let crushing misfortune shut out the light from your horizon like curtains drawn to banish the morning sun.
First, do what Sirach tells us in Chapter 2: “Accept whatever happens to you.”
Even when everything around you begins to crumple fight first and always against the enemy’s assault on your heart and mind by clinging to Christ. Run to him and hold on to him in the deep groaning of prayer because you cannot make yourself encouraged; you cannot make light shine inside; you cannot on your own strength resist despair. Only the Child born for you and me can save you and me.
The birth of a Saviour means that we need someone outside of ourselves, and Christ is that one who has been given authority to rescue, heal, restore, shine in the darkness, and do infinitely more for us than we can ask or imagine as St. Paul tells us. Seek him constantly, for we are constantly needy, constantly weak in the face of temptation, and constantly bleeding from the wounds of sin’s cutting edges. You will not be disappointed.
When you turn to Him He will come to you in ways that will astound you. You will experience the joy of salvation. You will know him who the Angel told the frightened shepherds to go and see:
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David, a saviour has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
We live in a time that has a history of countless witnesses we can look to who have experienced the love of Jesus and His Mother who became the gate for him to enter the world. Do as Sirach says:
Consider the generations long past and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been ignored? For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; forgives sins and saves in time of trouble. (Sirach 2: 10-11)
You will rejoice, shouting, “Glorify Him, my God and my all when he comes to you giving life to your dry, lifeless bones through his mysterious intercession