The following is a reflection by Companion Kathy Keary on the December 21st event at Precious Blood Center in Liberty.
What a spectacular evening! We began with a reflection from Fr. Joe Nassal that redirected us from the business of the holidays to deep personal reflection—a pause in this fast-paced time of year. Fr. Joe invited us to a time to transform the part of us that remains in darkness. We were encouraged to celebrate the light—the Christ child who lives within each of us. In order to find this light, we must meet the darkness in our life. Fr. Joe encouraged us to embrace both the darkness and the light, for our God is the God of both. No matter the enormity of the darkness, a flicker remains—a twinkle that will not allow our hope to die. It is through the scars of our personal darkness, that the light emerges. The evening was a time to create space in our heart for the new person being born within us.
With lit candle in hand, we processed to the labyrinth in the dark of night. Luminaries marked our path. Guided by Fr. Joe’s words, we thought about what we wanted the labyrinth to be for us that night. We heard the invitation of the solstice to linger, to soak in the experience, and to be open to what God was calling us to in that moment. Fr. Joe compared the labyrinth to the still small voice within each of us as we moved into the center of the path. The center of the labyrinth contained a fire where we paused to ponder our true identity, to breathe in the Spirit, to release all that is not our authentic self, and let go of all that imprisons us. We walked away from the center as people who believed that the light is more powerful than the dark.
We then gathered in the dining room and parlor for a simple meal and fellowship. Joy was evident by the conversation and laughter that filled the space. I am grateful for the many people who chose to join in the celebration of the winter solstice.