The First Snowfall
By Carol Strzynski, O.C.D.
No matter how old or young you are, there is a peculiar delight at witnessing the first snowfall of the season. With a soft blanket of white down, our countrysides, cities and towns are covered not only in a physical sense, but also an ethereal sense. There is a quiet and gentle spirit in the air. As for myself, I feel like a child witnessing for the first time the joy and the beauty of brightness spread across what would be a dreary landscape, particularly in the months of darkness and changing of clocks. Even here at the Monastery, the little urchin in me would like to make and to toss the first snowball, or if there is enough of the "white stuff," make that "snow-lady" or "snow-man" with the help of extra "fun hands." Although you could enjoy the invigorating stimulus of shoveling snow, and we do get huge drifts in our little corner of the world, to throw yourself upon those drifts and make that snow-angel wouldn't be too difficult if you aren't afraid to let go.
The Bethlehem Of Her Heart
The first snowfall also begins within the human heart, ever so quietly and gently, that we may not notice it. It is imperceptible how the Spirit comes down upon us in mysterious ways. That same Spirit like an original snowfall came down upon Mary. She wasn't afraid to throw herself upon the Lord in trust. With her recognition and acceptance of that Spirit, Jesus the Christ was formed within her.
The precipitation of clouds, coming down in the form of rain or snow, is what returns to the soil. The action of God brings down the Divine Snowfall, the Holy Spirit, and returns to the soul. That same Holy Spirit forms Christ in us. In fact, the human heart was and is the first Bethlehem. Maybe this Advent and Christmas we can ask ourselves if we have allowed God to come down, to condescend to us? Have we allowed the Divine Snowfall, the Spirit to enter and permeate our soil, our souls? Do we let that same Spirit form Christ in us, like Mary? Are our hearts like the Bethlehem of her heart?
The first snowfall has a particular delight. Maybe the delight belongs to God Who desires to come to you?
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