Yearning for Light

Christmas lights sparkling

The Earth is yearning.
I can see it 
     in the strings of lights,
     so many more this year
     dangling so much earlier.
I can hear it 
     in the music of the season  
     playing before that November feast.
I have seen it 
     in the Yuletide movies
     streaming in summer, and even spring. 

We are yearning afar
     communally.
Yearning for calm, 
     an end to fear
Yearning for excitement 
     and wide-eyed joy
Yearning for warmth 
     and presence too. 
This year, this lonely year.
We yearn for more,
     A Light brighter 
     than those dangling strands. 

So let us go 
     to that moment in time
     guided by starlight
     to a stable far
     deep in the night. 

We go
     seeking to hold 
     the intangible 
          made tangible.
We go, you and I,
     and offer our hearts
          as manger
     a place
     for the precious Child to lay.

We prepare the space
     the heart—the manger 
Allowing our hearts 
     to open 
     and soften,
     making space
          for the Child 
               that is the Christ. 

A cry rings out:  
     Emmanuel!
Into the embrace of the warm manger 
     the Blessed Mother
     places the Child. 

Arise, what feelings 
     as I cradle the divine Child.
Shall my heart be touched
     as his tiny hand reaches out? 

In his tender gaze 
     are offers divine: 
          love 
          peace
          joy 
          hope
          comfort
          healing
          renewal
          wholeness.

I accept the gifts
     in the manger of my heart
and dare to realize
     the Light of the World 
          is holding my heart.

Editor’s Note: We at Loyola Press are saddened to hear of the passing of William A. Barry, SJ. Fr. Barry’s life and work are an inspiration to countless people.

We pay tribute to this distinguished spiritual director and author by remembering his life’s work of helping people grow in friendship with God. Read a brief biography and excerpts from some of his work.

And, as a gift to you in Fr. Barry’s honor, we offer you his book
A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God’s Amazing Embrace in eBook form, until January 4, 2021, for free download here.

May you rest in peace, Fr. Barry.

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