When sadness freezes our soul in this season
The seasons of Advent and Christmas are usually beautiful. Joy floats around and everyone seems to become better people: We become more generous, more tolerant, more understanding, we walk around with a smile on our faces, we are thrilled to buy gifts, we set ornaments at home and yearn to gather with those we love to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.
Christmas is full of good memories. There are moments when a feeling of nostalgia invades us — that painful yet pleasant recollection of certain people, places or moments that are no longer there.
Alas, there are moments around Christmas in which melancholy invades our soul instead. Sadness runs through our veins chilling our heart and plummeting our spirit down. Certain ornaments, dishes, aromas and songs steal away our joy. In my case, for example, “Silent Night” makes me feel blue every time, since I was a young kid. I can’t explain why, but it always happens.
Amid the general joy so characteristic of these celebrations, there is always someone who is feeling blue. Possibly, it is you. Maybe because someone very dear has gone forever and will no longer sit at your table. Perhaps unemployment prevents you from buying presents and a Christmas dinner. It could be that some relative is in the hospital. Or maybe you are going through a painful illness. It could be that a relationship broke apart recently. Perhaps there’s been quarrels and resentfulness that turn bitter this holy night. Maybe you made a terrible mistake and the damage cannot be repaired. Perhaps loneliness is overwhelming. It could be that those you love the most are far away, making it impossible to celebrate with them, embrace them, give them love and receive it back from them. That feeling of sadness comes with the temptation not to celebrate Christmas at all.
Yet you are not alone. As Luis Aguilé’s song goes: On this day, when you friends, your land, and your home are far away, and your soul feels sorrow while you unceasingly remember them, rest assured that here, at my table, there is a seat reserved for you. For this reason and many more, come to my home this Christmas.
Come to my home, which is also yours. Its doors are wide open to welcome you in. This home is our church. We’ll witness together the biggest miracle Love can perform. The Son of God himself will be born inside a cave, to dwell among us. If melancholy has chilled your heart, cover it with straw and turn it into a manger, where the Blessed Virgin Mary can lay down her baby, with her blessed hands. Your straw will warm him while he, in exchange, will warm your soul.
If you feel blue this Christmas, you must celebrate more than ever! For only Baby Jesus can fill your heart with whatever you need the most. Hold him tightly in your arms. His smile is irresistible and will make your lips smile once more. His tender hands, which move around unceasingly, will caress your face and wipe your tears. And he will be born in Beth Lehem (the house of the bread) and will sleep in a manger (used to feed the animals), for the Savior will come to the world to be the bread that gives eternal life. Don’t miss the chance to go to confession and receive Communion in the Christmas Mass, so Baby Jesus can penetrate the deepest corners in your soul and in your heart, giving you the warmth and comfort you need.
Be passionate about our faith!
Read the Spanish version of this column.
Northwest Catholic - December 2019