Newsletter - Winter 2008


No longer do we seek a God

beyond the stars.

Because of Christmas,

God is nearest

in the quiet room

of our hearts



Christmas, 2008

Dear Friends of Carmel,


Christmas!  How does one really celebrate Christmas?  This is how Karl Rahner, S.J., begins a letter to one of his friends.  He goes on to say that the great experiences of life come to those who are prepared to receive them.  Furthermore, he tells the reader that we should not miss the star (our very own star) that might be rising in the sky above us.  Rahner then encourages his friend to find a spot where he can be alone and hear what God may be saying to him.  As we begin our letter, we invite you to find a quiet spot, a comfortable chair and the glow of a candle to cheer and inspire you.

As a special feature, we thought we would share with you some of the responses our Sisters and our friends gave, when asked what they like most about the Christmas season.  After reading this, feel free to write and tell us what you, yourself,  like most about the Christmas season.  And so we begin . . .

There is something about the Christmas Spirit that penetrates the human heart. Somehow Christmas makes us different for the better.  People are exceptionally good, kind, and thoughtful at this time of year.


Christmas helps us appreciate our own life and is a reminder of God’s tenderness and love expressed in the gift of a little Child.  There is a freshness and newness whether one is old or young.


For me, there is a different mood of good will and friendliness.  Christmas is a time of tree lights, candles, angels and stars, and a time of giving gifts, picking out things you know  others will enjoy.

I love the snow, praying at the crib, and receiving the Lord at Midnight Mass.  I also look forward to the community get-together following Midnight Mass.

Christmas is a time for the coming of God.  I wait for this very personal coming, and I look forward to what God might bring.  It could be that God will come to me in ways I do not expect.


What I like most about Christmas is experiencing the nearness of God, not just for myself,  but for the whole world.  Wherever I turn, there is that special Presence, a Presence we so long for.

What means a lot to me is praying with the Christmas retreat notes of Pope John XXIII  in Journal of a Soul.  With great eagerness,  I await the Christ Child.


And now we return to a bit of other news.  On November 14, our Sister Teresa Susan of Jesus (Susan Dreyer) professed her First Vows as a Carmelite.  We give thanks that Sister has answered the call of God, and we ask you to pray for her and for our community.  May all of us grow more deeply into what it means to be a contemplative, and to be that for the world.

Very likely, our most solemn moment will be singing Silent Night, with the lights dimmed at Communion time, during our Christmas Eve Mass.  Dear Friends, know that you will be remembered at that moment.  May you, too, experience the nearness of God and keep Christmas in your heart for many days to come.


                                                             Your Carmelite Sisters in Eldridge, Iowa  


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