December Page by the Vancouver Cenacle associates Johanna Howard, Cathie Elder, Joanne Power and Debbie Miotto
December Reflections from Vancouver Cenacle associates Johanna Howard, Cathie Elder, Joanne Power and Debbie Miotto.
As we prepare for Advent November 29 to December 24, may we all be strengthened for a different and perhaps smaller and quieter Christmas celebration. Since we in Vancouver are heading into winter, the readings have a winter theme. We understand that is not so for all who are reading this.
May our preparation these 4 weeks include practices which reflect and incorporate the 4 themes of Advent: hope, peace, love and joy. This Christmas may be a return to simpler, peaceful and less hectic materialistic and social practices. We may reflect that this is what we have longed for in the past.
We wish to share with you some music and practices of Canadian observances during this coming season.
Prayer to Our Lady of Advent
O Mother of our Advent be with us all and ask that He will remain with us in this difficult Advent of the struggles for truth and hope for justice and peace: He, alone, Emmanuel.
Prayer from catholic.org
Here is a treasured “Huron Christmas carol sung by Tom Jackson
We in the North would like to share with you the Medicine Wheel. A medicine wheel is an indigenous teaching that shows the interconnectivity of different parts of life in relation with the nature and the spiritual world. The design consists of four different parts that represent directions, elements, seasons of nations among many others. Traditionally the medicine wheel is used for ceremonies religious and healing purposes or to illustrate cultural concepts. The design of this medicine wheel is based on the Ojibwe people’s teaching and perspective.
The North, the place of wisdom where we rest and remember. In the North, we learn strength, truth and wisdom. Air is in the North, all life on Earth need air to breathe.
Winter is in the North, it’s the time to give back and share our wisdom with others.
Sweet grass is in the North, it’s like the hair of Mother Earth. Mind is in the North. The mind allows us to think, learn and know through reflecting. The White
Nation is strong and wise, gifted with swiftness and speed, like that of the White Bear.
Source: All Creation Represented :A Child’s Guide to the Medicine Wheel by Joyce Perreault and Terra Ma. Find more on the other seasons, directions and colours red, black and yellow.
Night’s Lodging from WinterSong Christmas readings by Madeleine L’Engle and Luci Shaw
Across the purple- patterned snow,
Laced with the light of lantern glow,
Dappled with dark
comes Christ, the Child born from the skies.
Those are stars that are his eyes.
His baby face is wise seen by my candle spark.
But is he cold from the wind’s cold blow?
Where will he go?
I’ll wrap him warm with love, well as I’m able, in my heart stable!
What are we doing to prepare a dwelling place for the shelterless in our community?
Never alone by Henry Nouven
God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving toward the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, we so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us. The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be a part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are in most pain. Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused and lost.
Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us when we feel most alone. Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and let him – whose love is greater than our own hearts and mind can comprehend – be our companion.
In this wintertime the last month of 2020, it is a perfect time to reflect, pause and consider where we want our love and intentions to grow in 2021
“Sacred Bond” from artist James Neafsey with permission, friend of the Cenacle.