Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates
SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Yes, Virginia, There is An Infant…

December 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Carmelite Sisters, Christmas

Yes, Virginia, There Is An Infant…

Dear Virginia,

I am writing to tell you about something that has been on my mind for several weeks. It has bubbled up within me, percolating up and down my brain and saturating my thoughts. Like coffee grounds in a coffeemaker, flowing in and out of my daily life, it strengthened quietly within my inmost soul almost – but not quite – imperceptibly. Somehow, somewhere, something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I tried, but wasn’t sure what it was. That is, until today. Today, it clicked. The idea finally coalesced into something I could grapple with, take apart and analyze.

It has to do with the question you once wrote, “Is there a Santa Claus?” and a movie that was made about that question and its answer. That is why I am writing to you about Christmas. It seems to me, and to a lot of other people also, that something is happening to Christmas.

O Christmas, where did you go? Who or what took you away from us? And when exactly did you leave? How did we not notice it? How did we not miss you?

Perhaps it is because I am a Carmelite Sister who lives a simple and prayerful life of service that I find myself experiencing such a profound emptiness, an absence, an incompleteness; yes, a deep sadness within me as I think more deeply about the way our society is celebrating Christmas. For, you see, wherever I look, there is no Infant. I miss Him so! Truly, I do.

Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire. City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, are dressed in holiday style. We walk in a winter wonderland. Rudolph is still making history and Santa Claus is still coming to town.

But, where is the Infant?

I am writing this letter to assure you and all the other children (and grown-ups, too). Yes, Virginia, there is an Infant. For over two thousand years, each Christmas we have remembered Him, the tiny Baby born in Bethlehem on that first Christmas night. St. Francis of Assisi began our tradition of setting up a crèche, a nativity scene, based on the story of His wondrous birth, that we may keep alive the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a time of joy, of hope, indeed. But that joy doesn’t flow from the tree, Rudolph, or the winter wonderland. They are all secondary, as fun and as good as they truly are.

AndreasJohannJacobMullerTheChristChildWalters37178

Yes, Virginia, there is an Infant. He is Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Christmas is HIS birthday.
Come, let us adore Him.

+ + + + + + +

Art: The Christ Child, Andreas Johann Jacob Müller, 1849, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons.

This post originally appeared on the website of the
Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus of Los Angeles
.
Used with permission.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

PROMOTING A DEEPER SPIRITUAL LIFE THROUGH HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION AND RETREATS. The way of life of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the Gospel, the Church, and the spirituality of Carmel as lived out through the charism of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament. In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its foundation in a long history and living tradition. Our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service of the Church as we promote a deeper spiritual life among God's people through education, healthcare, and spiritual retreats. We are called by God to be a presence inflamed within our world, witnessing to God's love through prayer, joyful witness and loving service. Our mission flows from each sister's profound life of prayer as Mother Luisita, our foundress, wrote, "the soul of each Carmelite raises herself to Christ, Who is her heaven, while her shadow falls in charity upon earth doing good to all people."

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Advent mothers

    Yes, there is an infant from a mother who was pregnant during the Advent season 4 times!

    • LizEst

      Were you pregnant during Advent four times?

    • CW

      Huh?

  • Jason Roebuck

    I would add that Virginia should know that the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus is the beginning of the Christmas season. The eighth day in the octave of Christmas, we celebrate the Mother of God, which is becoming too absent in our church, not just our culture. Virginia, Catholics used to celebrate the eighth day in the feast as the greatest day of the celebration, but we have settled for the celebration of a jolly fat man, which I don’t mind so much since that could be me someday, but we have lost the celebration of the most pure virgin, who is the Mother of God and Our Mother!

  • Judy Silhan

    I agree with you. The infant is becoming less and less the focus of the Advent/Christmas season as our culture becomes more secularized. At my son’s house, the focus was on entertaining, gifts for everyone. This year, I don’t even remember seeing a creche. There was no mention of Jesus birthday and no effort was made to make time for Mass, to thank and praise the Lord who has given them so much. Sadly, as you said, the infant is being left out more and more. I truly wonder what those of us who see this happening can do to counter this trend. Making a marked attempt to invite my son and his family to celebrate Jesus birth fell on deaf ears.

    • Sophia

      What should we do? Is the key thing here, I think

      As it has been said by many wise & holy individuals: people need to know one first before they can love them.

      Evangelizing the baptized is what all of us should do. In a loving, gentle, & humble way & good example we ( with the help of Grace) can attract people to this tremendous love.

      A lot of prayer & then some active work …. If each of us gets one person back to celebrate real Cheistmas next year , ALOT will be accomplished!

      No great works are needed. Whatever God puts in our way… That’s what’s needed from us. Good luck to all of us : )

  • Kathy

    This is true, it seems people are no longer celebrating Christ’s birthday, but celebrating like it’s their own birthday. People that don’t go to church treat the birth of Christ like a long lost religious fairy tale. How can people celebrate the specialness of something they no longer respect or make time for in their daily lives? My own family sit in church,mostly out of habit, not out of adoration and love.for our saviour. Talk about the true poverty of family! My friend who is a former.catholic took her family, which should be hopeful but I was sad at how up relatable mass was for her family. Not judging as we never know what is really happening interiorly. where did Christmas go my friend? It went down the tubes when we decided to stay home on Sunday and watch Disney movies with our kids or run to endless dance and hockey.and sports events. When we decided that we are too religious and superstitious and instead of relying on God we just work more and give less to others. Sounds bad, I know but it’s how it is. When will we search for Christ and rejoice for His saving grace? When we realize we are not God, and when we need Him so very very much. Instead of loading kids up to the mall go to mass or Sunday school . Start young and keep strong in your own faith and pray,pray,pray.

  • Estefania

    To those who ask what we can do is simply give our testimony in a loving and humble way and persevere, persevere, persevere! Today is actually my birthday and I just finished listening to all my favorite Christmas song, Adeste Fidelis, Holy Night and others. I remember a time when my birthday was all about me, now I am just looking forward to mass tonight as the highlight of ny day. I have been having a tough time lately but I still have a burning love for Jesus, alleluia! It is not easy to be a Christian, I think when people see yiu time after time persevering and our love for Jesus, they will have to look twice. My conversion was in part greatly through seeing the joy of true Catholics, if we dont have joy and love we will not be a good example of the Gospel. And of course, we have a creche and I love it and a wallpaper of baby Jesus. Merry Christmas to all!

  • Estefania

    To those who ask what we can do is simply give our testimony in a loving and humble way and persevere, persevere, persevere! Today is actually my birthday and I just finished listening to all my favorite Christmas song, Adeste Fidelis, Holy Night and others. I remember a time when my birthday was all about me, now I am just looking forward to mass tonight as the highlight of ny day. I have been having a tough time lately but I still have a burning love for Jesus, alleluia! It is not easy to be a Christian, I think when people see yiu time after time persevering and our love for Jesus, they will have to look twice. My conversion was in part greatly through seeing the joy of true Catholics, if we dont have joy and love we will not be a good example of the Gospel. And of course, we have a creche and I love it and a wallpaper of baby Jesus. Merry Christmas to all!

    • LizEst

      …and Merry Christmas to you, Estefania. And, Happy Birthday! God bless you!

    • LizEst

      …and Merry Christmas to you, Estefania. And, Happy Birthday! God bless you!

    • Joan

      “If we don’t have joy and love we will not be a good example of the Gospel”. How very true, Happy Birthday Estefania! you are in my prayers. God bless.

  • Thereseroses

    We just watched this movie as a family, Yes Virginia, and this reflection was so fitting to discuss with our children. Thanks sister and may we all keep Christ first in our hearts and lives and bring His Love to others.

  • LisaAug

    Very true article., We need to come back to our first Love… – Jesus Christ! All throughout my workplace this past Christmas season, starting the day of Thanksgiving, I’ve been so afflicted because my coworkers , thinking they are “in the Christmas spirit” kept playing our local radio station full of all Santa Claus, Rudolph, Jingle Bells, I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus” , etc.., etc.. songs back to back. Thank God we are also permitted to play our mp3 players and earphones, because it was hard for me to take otherwise. I kept my earplugs on playing Christian themed music to myself.
    I now see how Jesus must have been afflicted many times when He was growing up in this World by all the social festivals and such which had little to do with His Father in Heaven. So I have to remember to remember that and ask Him to help me see it in that light that I am sharing a tiny drop of His suffering with Him in that regard.

  • CW

    Beautiful, Sister!

Skip to toolbar