Newsletter Christmas 2000

I light a candle and place it

in the window of my heart.

Enter, O God of my life,

and make me beautiful within.


Dear Friends of Carmel,

If you ask a contemplative Sister what is new in her life, she usually starts thinking about what is going on inside of her. Understandably, such commentaries would not be terribly exciting to write about in a Christmas newsletter. On the other hand, maybe they would be . The townspeople of old used to go out to the hermits in the desert to find out what new thing the hermits had learned about God. We’re not hermits in the desert, however, but just ordinary people living in the midst of frosty fields praying for a white Christmas.

The inspirations for writing you each Christmas usually come from walking up and down the long corridor which joins the old wing with the chapel, where so much prayer goes on for your intentions. (This corridor, of course, is still known as the runway.) As our letter begins, it is early dawn in the eastern skies. The lights of Eldridge, a reminder of those in Bethlehem, are still lit, quietly keeping vigil. We like to think that wherever there is light, there is Bethlehem. For quite awhile now, in the early evening, a lone “star” shines brightly in the southwestern sky. If we had a high enough stepladder, we feel that we could touch it. We know that this star also shines on you.

With each letter, we try to include helpful hints sent in by our friends. One of our favorites has to do with blowing bubbles. The writer informed us that bubbles last longer if one adds corn syrup to the solution. There was once a person who made a bubble big enough for someone to stand in. Right now, we are thinking of the advertisement that tells the viewer that what is showing is not guaranteed to be reproducible at home.

In another mailing from Oregon, we received a flyer listing 81 ways to give oneself a present. Here are some of them:

( P.S.—We made up some of these. Try it. It’s loads of fun.)

As we draw our letter to a close, we want to tell you that you are a gift to us. Since we began this letter, the sun has come up and gone down several times. At this very moment, fifteen cooks are in the kitchen making Thanksgiving dinner. Too many cooks make a wonderful stew! Know that you will be remembered in a special way during our Advent processions, and especially at Midnight Mass. (Midnight gets earlier, every year!) If you can, do look for that star in the southwestern sky. It is brighter than any earthly light.

-----Your grateful Carmelites, Eldridge, Iowa..............................


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