In my mindful meditation on Christmas Eve morn, I became aware, for the first time, of five distinct sounds coming from birds…from the base voice of cooing doves to the soprano pitch of an unrecognizable bird.
In silence I sat, allowing my mind to be bathed in these distinguishing sounds. Their melodic sounds gently flowed over me like cool river rapids, refreshing me from head to toe. Not even the attempted invasion of the distant sounds of vehicles, a coarse morning greeting from a next-door neighbour, or my persistent analytical mind was sufficient to distract from the moment.
This chorus of singing birds is not new to the morning. It is likely that this orchestral performance occurs each morning.
Then, what’s new?
What’s new is my own awakening, my awareness that such vocal beauty exists in the ordinariness of each morning. Though the external silence of every morning spreads like red carpet to usher the birth of awareness, my inner narcissistic noise becomes an interference.
Christ is born!
Christ continues to be born.
But I am unaware, too distracted with the noise of Christmas carols, Christmas shopping, Christmas preparations, Christmas murders, Christmas presents, Christmas rush, Christmas problems – personal, family and societal, Christmas work, Christmas traffic, Christmas baking. Not even the Silent Night quiets my restless and noisy heart.
It’s not the celebration of Christ’s birth. It’s the birth of my awareness that Christ is born in the ordinary. The Silent Night of Christmas is inadequate. The Silent Night of the heart, the Silent Night of the mind gives birth to awareness; awareness of Christ’s birth in the ordinariness of life – sickness, commotion, accidents, gatherings, restrictions, inadequacies, hunger, loneliness.
Christmas, not twelve days. Christmas 365 days – the birth of personal awareness that Christ’s birth is happening now.
“Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man . . .” (St. Augustine).
One thought on “Christmas – Birth of Awareness”
Thank you so much for sharing Fr. Don. I especially like the quote from St. Augustine. God bless you Fr.