Reflections on the Eve of Nativity

Dear Comunidad,

So, we are on the eve of our Saviour’s birth. While I am sure many people are finishing up their holiday shopping, wrapping those final gifts and anticipating the arrival of their families, I am sitting here – glass of wine in hand – reflecting on the most unconventional Nativity that I am embarking on this year.

I am not going home to see my family this year. I am somewhat church-less this year. I am single this year. I am technically homeless this year.

To say that 2010 was a year of significant life changes would be an understatement – home changes, job changes, relationship changes, friendship changes,…shall I go on? The details are neither here nor there, but collectively they have left me yearning for renewal, to re-examine and re-define what restoration and redemption means in this time of my life. I can’t think of a better time to take pause to reflect than now, as the birth of our Lord draws near.

¡Feliz Navidad!

Make merry, O heaven and earth, as the Prophets foretold! Celebrate in the spirit, O Angels and [women]! Godde is born from the Virgin and appears in the flesh to those who sit in darkness and shadow. – His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr, Primate, Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Recibir a Cristo,
Eva

Intercessions of the Godde Bearer

Dear Comunidad,

The Weeping Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” at Novgorod has been in my meditations as of late. Whether this is informed by the Nativity season or something more random, I think the timing probably couldn’t be better.

During this season I become acutely aware of how diminished the position of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Godde Bearer, has become in our society, even within Christian circles. It breaks my heart that the mother of all mothers is relegated to an after thought or footnote.

Now is a splendid time to cast our eyes on Godde through the intercessions of the Mother of our Lorde, for just as the Theotokos gave birth to Christ in a bodily way, so we must, give birth to Christ in an unbodily or spiritual way. In so doing, we imitate Her practical spiritual life, including the purity and humility by which She formed Her free will into perfect obedience to the Will of Godde.

Recibir a Cristo,
Eva

A prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos, by St Peter of Damascus

Blessed Queen of the universe,
thou knowest that we sinners have no intimacy with God whom thou hast borne.
But, putting our trust in thee,
through thy mediation we thy servants prostrate ourselves before the Lord:
for thou canst freely approach Him since He is thy son and our God.
Thus I, too, unworthy believer that I am, entreat thee, holy Queen,
that I may be allowed to perceive the gifts of grace bestowed on thee
and on the other saints,
and to understand how thou dost display so many virtues.
Simply thy giving birth to the Son of God shows that thou excellest all other beings.
For He Who, as creator of all,
knows all things before they come into existence
found thy womb worthy of His indwelling.

Nativity: 40 (27) days of Fasting

Dear Comunidad,

I was raised in a Christian tradition that not only recognized a church calendar but lived it on a daily basis. The church calendar was one manifestation of Holy Tradition that informed our daily lives, creating rhythms and cycles that brought the Gospel to life. I didn’t necessarily understand the traditions growing up, but as an adult, I have found comfort, nourishing and grounding in my upbringing. The rituals, the repetitions and the cycles of the church year are the foundation on which my inner spiritual self is built.

Millions of Christians around the world are currently observing the Nativity Fast (one of four Canonical Fasting Seasons), a period of abstinence and repentance in preparation of the Nativity of Christ.  As we approach the second Sunday in the Nativity Fast, we have an opportunity to draw closer to Godde.

  • by turning our eyes and hearts towards others in community
  • by turning our eyes and hearts towards others in forgiveness
  • by turning our eyes and hearts towards others in repentance
  • by turning our eyes and hearts towards Godde in prayer
  • by repairing what is broken in your life, relationship with others and yourselves

How will you be observing this joyous fast?

Recibir a Cristo,
Eva

%d bloggers like this: