Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men...

The fruit of silence is prayer
The fruit of prayer is faith
The fruit of faith is love
The fruit of love is service
The fruit of service is peace

-Mother Teresa

I was listening to some cds on Advent and Christmas today. This quote from Mother Teresa on silence really struck me. How wise was she? This was a great lesson for me to hear today! Actually for sometime now, I have been feeling like I need to shut up and listen! I'm really tired of hearing my own voice! It is so true that there are so many distractions all around us, and it's very easy to surround ourselves in all the hustle of everyday life, especially around Christmas time. We live in a very noisy world... It's so easy to get caught up in all the business of everyday living that I forget to take the time to be quiet and pray.

I have had the song, O Little Town of Bethlehem in my head for several weeks now, thinking about the words. They are really beautiful... they embody the stillness of that night, how it must have been and bring it into the imagination! I learned in the cd series today that this song was written by a Priest, Anglican I believe, named Phillips Brooks in 1865. He was visiting Bethlehem on a pilgrimage and went and sat on this hill overlooking the city and outcame the hymn! I've never been to this part of the world, but I can imagine the inspiration of the place... the quietness and peacefulness of the night with the stars shining overhead... This song really reminds me of how beautiful the whole Christmas story really is and how Christmas isn't merely about giving gifts and being with family... Christmas is a FEELING of longing for hope, fulfillment, and joy that everybody has because God made us all and put it there. It is what makes this time of year seem more holy and magical and sets it apart from other times of the year. It made me think about how shallow this holiday would seem without that Wondrous Gift that was given on that night!

O little town of Bethlehem,

How still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by;

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting Light;The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,

And gathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep

Their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together Proclaim the holy birth!

And praises sing to God the King,

And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently,

The wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming,

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him, still

The dear Christ enters in.

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