Many of us receive Christmas notes from family and acquaintances that detail highs and lows of the year past. One Christmas letter from a dear friend began with this Blessing Prayer by writer and retreat director Jan Richardson, who named this one “Blessing in the Chaos.” What could be more descriptive—or as needed—as we conclude 2020?
I have used this blessing for my morning reflection as we, in the northern hemisphere, move from short, dark days to the dawning of the Son that brings hope. And if you think our own time is fraught with “chaos,” it was even more so then, when in a way-out-of-the-way place a Child was born to a young woman, Mary, and her spouse Joseph. Local shepherds and foreign wisemen all recognized this special moment of peace in the chaos, a stillness in the birth of Jesus that radiated joy. Perhaps this too can be a Blessing Prayer for you and your family.
To all that is chaotic in you,
let there come silence.
Let there be a calming of the clamoring,
a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you,|
that have made their home in you,
that go with you even to the holy places
but will not let you rest,
will not let you hear your life with wholeness
or feel the grace that fashioned you.
Let what distracts you cease.
Let what divides you cease.
Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans.
Let there be an opening into the quiet
that lies beneath the chaos,
where you find the peace you did not think possible
and see what shimmers within the storm.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and was the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.