“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5, 14. The Common English Bible).
Christmas is not Christmas for me without reading and reflecting on this amazing text from St. John’s Gospel.
We do not think of the Word (as in the word itself) as being anything but a word written on paper. Until we ponder as Mary did on this holy night/day, that the Word is a Person. The Word is Jesus Christ. On this celebration of the Nativity of our Lord, we celebrate that the Word is God’s perfect revelation of God’s Self in the wonder and holiness of the Son of God.
Contemplative prayer is as much a mystery as the Incarnate Word is. We know that God is present in a way so wonderful, so incomprehensible; but, ever so real. The experience is not the kind of thing that we can run to our best buddy and say, “You’ve just gotta come see this.” Contemplative prayer is visible in us, in so far as Jesus, the Word is able to infuse our hearts with the grace that purifies our souls. The evidence of contemplative prayer is that there is something so unique about us. The only words that seem appropriate to describe what has been happening to us are, “personal growth in relationship with God, through the Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
On this Christmas Eve/Day, may the Word be reborn in us through the gift of prayerful contemplation.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB