The Good News

Welcome to The Good News Blogspot! The Good News is real and alive in my own life. Jesus has fulfilled in my life His promise of fuller and more abundant life (John 15), a quality of life I could not have created for myself. I invite you to share experiences with me so we can all grow into the life He offers us all.

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Catholic by call, Jesuit by nature, a preacher/spiritual conversation partner by choice. Learning about getting older, learning to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Learning to let go and laugh.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christ is Born Today!

On Christmas Day Jesus is born - again. But where, exactly, is he born?
Inside us - in the midst of our grief, our regrets, our hurts, our anger – in all those places where we long for relief, respite, and new life.

Grief, hurt, and anger can harden into cynicism and bitterness. A wounded heart without hope becomes a heart of stone. Jesus invites us to hope again. Jesus loved those who hated him. That Jesus - born in us where we are in pain – can help soften hardness, heal hurt, dissolve cynicism. We celebrate his calendar birth on December 25. We allow his birth in us on Christmas Day – and on any day – when we allow our hope to be rekindled. This hope leads us to love again and to be loved again, despite failed loves. Emerging hope and renewed desire mark Jesus’ presence, a presence like no other, one that not only encourages but heals. His presence invites and makes possible.

A few days ago I visited Lake George in northern New York State, the most beautiful place in all creation, only 15 miles north of the cemetery where Hawleys back to 1825, including my parents, are buried. The lake has enriched generations of Hawleys, and no visit to the lake is complete without a visit to the cemetery. On the day I visited, the sun shone brilliantly, the lake sparkled, the evergreens shone, the chilly temperature making everything the more vibrant. Such beauty everywhere I looked! Such Beauty, God’s Beauty touching me and filling me!

While still at the lake, I gathered pine branches and later placed them on the graves of the Hawleys who had loved the lake. I felt a special peacefulness – God’s peace – as I stood among the family gravestones and the pine branches from the lake.

These experiences of Beauty and Peace are modes of Jesus being born again in me. No small thing, since the generation ahead of me wasn’t the easiest to live with. Visiting the cemetery, even visiting the lake, brings back memories I would rather forget. So, the invitation, the urging, the empowering to love again, despite the past, represents a new beginning, a new joy in my life.

God’s greatest inspiration that afternoon was to carry one pine branch back to Boston, and the next day I placed it on my mother’s parents’ grave in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

So, within 36 hours I had spent time with both sides of my family and, I hope, had helped them feel joined to one another by the evergreen branches from the lake. God’s inspiration arose from Jesus reborn in me in the Christmas season, rekindling the possibility of my loving my family in a new way despite the past.

The Feast of the Holy Family, December 31, 2006


Blogger Adoro Te Devote said...

"Grief, hurt, and anger can harden into cynicism and bitterness. A wounded heart without hope becomes a heart of stone..." ~

After reading this, I went back to the top to re-read your post. My dad passed away on January 3, 1995. That semester I had a class called "God and the Human Condition", and I really needed to hear the words you went on to write here. But what I officially learned in class (and it was a test question) was that "God is not all-powerful. He is not omnipotent. He can't do anything about your suffering because He has too many other things to worry about."

I was holding on to my faith with a shred...and that day, it was severed. It took a very long time to come back, and boy, did I wallow in bitterness. I was angry, and I couldn't even grieve. It took months, and even after that, I remained angry at the world.

I still believed in God, but I cut off all communicaton...what was the sense of talking to God if he woulnd't do anything about it?

It took a long time, but God didn't let me go so easily and spent several years proving his love for me. Were it not for Jesus...well, who knows where I would be today? God is so good to us!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Mikeyspaw said...

Lake George is also a very special place for me . A trip that I had taken many many years ago to Lake George I now realize had been orchestrated by the Lord, and because of your pages has new meaning for me. Thank You, Father Hawley, for refreshing many beautiful memories.

4:57 PM  

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