To tell the truth, I often prefer Advent over Christmas. Now, I know that Christmas is a great feast and that the magnitude of this mystery is the reason why the faithful prepare ourselves for its celebration for several weeks before the D-Day, known as the Advent period. Yet, Advent mirrors our life of journey and waiting, but Christmas... (I think) no one who is still alive can ever experience the fullest meaning of Christmas. For me it bode eternal salvation, which obviously, we cannot yet experience here.
This Christmas has been one full of struggles personally. The year 2007 has been an intense year, and I struggled to 'sync' my ups and downs with the rhythm of the Church's liturgical calendar, trying to introduce a drop of sensus Ecclesiae into my life. In a way, I imagine it felt very much like what the three Magi must have gone through in their journey to look for the Child.
'Vidimus stellam eius'
The star beckons the three wise men, just like God's call beckons. Along the way, perhaps sometimes they lost sight of the star, perhaps sometimes the terrain was hard-going; such that following a star from a distant land seems, to a rational mind, like a touch of summer madness. But left their palace they did. And so did I.
'et venimus adorare eum'
While the 3 magi did find the Child, I'm still on my journey. At this stage I must say it hasn't been too bad, but there had been moments of wariness and doubt. Doubt that the star wasn't some figment of my imagination. Doubt that what the star signifies is worth leaving my palace for. Doubt that I can find Christ at the end of the journey and not be distracted by curiosity in foreign lands.
I'm currently reading "The Tremendous Lover" by Eugene Boylan. In the first few chapters, he explored the theme of Redemption, and what will be at the end: [one] Christ loving Himself. I found a little 'epiphany' in Boylan's attempt to show the glory of God who is omniscient, of God who knows all things to come, and the outcome of all possibilities. And yet, His preference to let mankind live outside Paradise, suffering the consequence of the original sin, who were later redeemed by the Passion of His Son, must imply that (humanly speaking) amongst all possibilities, He sees that this universe, with its suffering, is the best way to restore the dignity and the glory of His creation. Meditating upon this 'choice' of universe, His choice of allowing us to suffer and become co-operators in our own redemption, I can say safely that I will never comprehend His scheme of things in this lifetime. Wherefore does this lead me?
While reading about classical argument for the existence of God, this question crossed my mind: can earnest employment of reason lead us astray? Just what does a Christian have that an agnostic (for agnosticisim is the best conclusion an erroneous reason could lead to) could not have in life? Hope. Hope that there is more for our souls than what earthly tribulation exacts from our bodies. A skeptic could say, if there is God, He has a funny way of introducing Himself. Why allow evil to exist in the world when He is omnipotent and could have easily got rid of it? But God's folly is greater than our wisdom. His ways are not ours, and God's logic, saves us at the end.