Pope Francis reminds us of the spiritual dimension of Christmas by sharing these meaningful meditations. So take time out from the holiday rush and embrace these five points to ponder. They will surely add some joy to your season, and cheer to every gift you give.
Christmas Reflections: Family
At the heart of Christmas is always the family. We may have our differences, but we strive to recover the truest sense of sharing. (Read: 10 Bible Verses About God’s Call to Serve Others)
“In families, we quarrel,” the Pope says. “Sometimes plates fly. Children bring headaches.” However, the Pontiff explains, “The most beautiful thing God made, says the Bible, was the family.” He adds that, “It is a factory of hope, life, and resurrection. There are difficulties in the family, but these difficulties are overcome with love… Love is about celebration. Love is joy. Love is moving forward.”
Christmas Reflections: Generosity
It’s wonderful that we always see Christmas as a time of giving. But the less fortunate won’t see their difficulties disappear by magic just because it’s Christmas. Pope Francis reminds us that when we give, we should also give the gift of encounter, which is to really reach out and know others—to talk to them, listen, and have empathy. (Read: Yes, Donor Fatigue is Real — Here’s How to Overcome It)
“Go out to others and share the good news that God, our Father, walks at our side,” Pope Francis says. “He frees us from anonymity, from a life of emptiness and selfishness, and brings us to the school of encounter.” Encounter pushes us to give of ourselves beyond our comfort zones and to recognize the humanity of those in need. And this is truly a precious gift we can give!
Christmas Reflections: Meditation
Speaking of silence at a time like Christmas may seem like a paradox. However, it is silence that best prepares us for the coming of Christ. The pope says that Christmas is “a very noisy festival. It will do us good to have silence,” for us to “hear those words of love, of closeness, those words of tenderness.” Besides, wouldn’t you relish the opportunity to just sit and enjoy a quiet moment? It’s a gift you can give to yourself that will help you manage the hectic pace of the season.
Christmas Reflections: Prayers
Many people say they would like to pray, but they just don’t have the time for it. But as Pope Francis always reminds us, “The spirit of prayer gives time back to God. It steps away from the obsession of a life that is always lacking time, it rediscovers the peace of necessary things, and discovers the joy of unexpected gifts.” (Read: 4 Self-Reflection Questions to Help You Shake Off Those Negative Vibes)
If you take time out to pray, you will notice how you are guided throughout the day— instead of just rushing through it. Pope Francis also says that “a heart which is home to affection for God makes a prayer of an unspoken thought,” a reminder that we don’t need to stick to formula prayers— and that our thoughts and musings can already help us commune with God!
Christmas Reflections: The Gospel
We need to hear God’s Word and nourish it, as well as nurture it in others. For this, the Pope advises, “It’s a good idea to have a pocket-sized Gospel that you can carry with you and read a small passage from at any given time of the day. And there we find Jesus who speaks to us.” Keeping the Lord’s teachings with us at all times in this day and age is a cinch because we can even download the Gospel and keep it on our gadgets for easy reading.