Hold Firm

winter scene - grayIt’s now pretty much the dead of winter. The thrill of Christmas is past us and we wake each morning—some of us in harsh, cold temperatures—to get to work day in and day out. It’s a quiet time of year, and things seem less exciting. Boredom and apathy begin to wage a slow and subtle war upon us as the more energizing days of the past weeks slip from our consciousness.

It certainly can be hard not to fall into a mid-winter rut at this time of year given the lack of excitement or even the hope of warmer weather to egg us on. If you find yourself falling into that sort of mood, perhaps these words from Amy Andrews in 2017: A Book of Grace-Filled Days might inspire you:

But each of us was once like a knight, kneeling before the Lord. Hold the beginning of the reality firm, came a voice, until the end. We rode away full of furious and joyful intent. And then the days rolled on by, and gradually we forgot. But we are partners of Christ. The reality is just beginning. So hold it firm—your given plot of ground—until the end.

I love this rather Ignatian excerpt because it uses the militaristic imagery St. Ignatius Loyola would love to call us out of a slump and into action. Imagine that powerful scene where you kneel before the Lord, head bowed, with crowds watching with awe and excitement, as the Lord calls you his own and entrusts you with a mission uniquely yours to fulfill in this world. Indeed we are missioned—knighted—by Christ through Baptism! While those baptismal waters may have flowed over us many years ago, the Spirit remains. We can draw energy and strength from that through these bleak and bleary days of winter.

As the days roll on through this less-appreciated time of the year, let us remember to hold firm to our mission, our little plot of ground entrusted to us by God, until the sun shines warmly upon us once again. When boredom and apathy stealthily eke their way into our lives, let us arm ourselves with the consolation of our Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit to firmly hold our ground.

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Cara Callbeck
Cara Callbeck holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and works in the public sector as a human resources professional. Cara recently completed the Spiritual Exercises and has since felt quite drawn to Ignatian spirituality. She is now on a quest to learn more and grow and to incorporate Ignatian spirituality in her life as a professional, mother, and “woman for others.” Cara lives in the Canadian Prairies with the two greatest blessings in her life—her husband and daughter.


  1. Winter is my favorite season of the year as I can nestle with my books on spirituality and calmly read and reflect. I am sad when this slower pace is over and “the business of life” begins – again – in earnest.

  2. Thank you, Cara. You put into words what so many feel at this time of year. This winter I am leaving a simple creche up on the mantle with a background of lighted greens, pinecones and candles. It helps me focus on “kneeling in front of the Lord”. Thank you
    PS I agree with Meg–summer’s blistering heat and humidity sap my energy and enthusiasm. AMDG!

  3. “I rise today through a mighty strength/ the invocation of the Trinity/ through belief in the Threeness/ through confession of the Oneness/ of the Creator of creation.” The beginning of St. Patrick’s breastplate.
    Read the whole thing and try to stay depressed. Pax tecum.

  4. Thank you Cara. I am Falling into the MID SUMMER Rut, here in Australia, with temperatures soaring. It is hard to be enthusiastic about anything. So I keep saying my prayers and asking God to give me some physical strength to get some necessary things done. Three Minute Retreats and all you good people writing for us; helps a great deal. Thank you all & God Bless. A.M.D.G.

  5. Thank you so much Cara, for I feel myself mirrored in that mood portrait that you have accurately described. Your words have cheered up my soul by reminding me about my baptism and the mission I must fulfill.


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