The Risk of Birth
This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn-
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn-
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.
Dearest monks and artists,
All of us at Abbey of the Arts want to wish you the most joyful of Christmas blessings. As the 17th century German mystic Angelus Silesius wrote: ““I must be the Virgin and give birth to God.”
The heart of the Christian tradition is the incarnation, the belief that God dwells in tender flesh and continues to be birthed again and again.
With this feast we celebrate the risk of birth arising from the impulse of love. In the midst of so much sorrow and suffering in the world, to bring forth our own deepest dreams takes courage. To believe that when we follow the leadings of the Spirit that we can contribute to a world of deeper peace and reconciliation requires hope. To bring forth the vision, the seed of new possibility, demands great love.
May you find yourself inspired by courage, infused with hope, and embraced by love.
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Photo © Christine Valters Paintner
I love the quote you shared from Angelus Silesius. “I must be the Virgin and give birth to God.” Too often the inn of our heart is too full to birth God, but we must be like Mary and say, “let it be unto me according to thy word.”