Redwoods Logo

The Miracle of Christmas

The Miracle of Christmas

December 25, 2022

Chapter Talk – Christmas Eve – December 24, 2022, cycle-A

‘And the Word became flesh’ (Jn 1:14).  Behold reality: ‘God is now all in all’.  This is the miracle of Christmas: God has become flesh of our flesh, embodied in the totality of human life. God’s total gift of his own life given in his Son, given to us, given for us, unconditionally.  ‘O silent night, O holy night’:  this beautiful Austrian hymn depicts this reality in its lyrics and music.  It is a silent night…it must be a silent night but why silence one may ask?

Meister Eckhart in his Sermons and Treatises reflects this truth in very direct terms.  “There must be a stillness and a silence for this Word to make itself heard.  We cannot serve this Word better than in stillness and in silence: there we can hear it, and there too we will understand it aright – in the unknowing.  To the one who knows nothing it appears and reveals itself” (Volume I, Sermon Two, p.21).  Silence: where we let go of all that we know, where our vessel is empty of all thoughts and mind activity, into the silence of unknowing, the utter sheer silence where the interior ground of our lives is ready to receive the ‘Word made flesh’.  In Sermon Four Eckhart again reaffirms this same spiritual reality.  He says: “And so in truth, if you would find this noble birth, you must leave the crowd and return to the source and ground whence you came.  All the powers of the soul, and all their works – these are the crowd.  Memory, understanding and will, they all diversify you, and therefore you must leave them all…” (p.39). 

These four weeks of Advent have helped us prepare our inner landscape for this new manifestation of Divine life, this new ‘gesture of God’s love’ (Jean Danielou, Prayer, p.33).  Now is the moment of our salvation.  And now, ‘hodie, is the time for us to receive.  An empty vessel, vigilant and waiting.  To receive our vessels, need to be empty, wide open in faith, for surely God’s grace will be bestowed upon humankind and all creation.  For this is the night, the holy night of grace.  Silence, the silence of God is the ground, the source where this grace, God’s love, will shine forth.  There the birth of God’s Life will be born, and keep in mind that this birth happens in humble surroundings.  Our humble surroundings are our lives…our lives with all their imperfections, mistakes, sins, and so on.  If our faith is big enough, we will trust that God’s covenantal love will grace our humble, imperfect lives.

Pope Francis helps us see as God sees, for he tells us how God sees each one of us.  He says: “The grace of God has appeared. Grace is a synonym of beauty. Tonight, in the beauty of God’s love, we also discover our own beauty, for we are beloved of God. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, whether happy or sad, in his eyes we are beautiful, not for what we do but for what we are. Deep within us, there is an indelible and intangible beauty, an irrepressible beauty, which is the core of our being. Today God reminds us of this. He lovingly takes upon himself our humanity and makes it his own, ‘espousing’ it forever” (Homily, December 24, 2019).

Grace, says Pope Francis, is a synonym for ‘beauty’.  This is the night that we each discover our own ‘beauty’…our own beauty is connected to who we are right now and who we are becoming.  This is why this birth of God, given in his Son, is a gift we all need.  We are to become more and more like Christ in demeanor and in our lived life…‘Let your bearing towards one another arise our of your life in Christ’ says the Philippians hymn (2:6-11).  Out of our life in Christ, in and through this birth, we receive the grace we each need…and we become more beautiful within and without. 

To conclude, without silence, we will not experience and be aware of these stirrings of new life, we will not hear the silent whisperings, where our God tells us, you are loved, you are my beloved, I am with you through all the ups and downs of life.  God’s grace is sufficient, we need nothing more to become our true selves and to be worthy stewards of the kingdom of God.  Let us go forth, with the faith of Mary, returning always to the silent ground of our being where the small still voice of the Spirit will breathe forth the new of God that we all need right now, individually, and communally.  Let us celebrate with thanksgiving and with child-like wonder this immense gift of our God who lies in the manger of our lives.  Let us this evening at our Mass “arise and adore the Mystery of Love” (Charles Williams, The Greater Trumps).

Sr. Kathy DeVico, Abbess 




































Latest Blog
Chapter Talks

Holy Thursday

In John’s gospel Jesus bends down two times.  The first is the scene with the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:1-11).   In this encounter with the upholders of the law

Read More
Abbey Cooks

Monastery Lentils

Monastery Lentils A popular Guest House recipe that is vegan, easy to make and packed with flavor.  Recipe calls for dry herbs – but use fresh for extra flavor. Serve

Read More

The Easter Moon

Did you see it?  For a few days – the rain stopped – the skies cleared and there she glowed –  beautiful in all her glory – the Easter Moon.

Read More
Sign Up For Our Email List
Subscribe to Our Newsletter