Best gifts of Christmas

Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 27 December 2019

Dome of the chapel at Shepherd’s Field near Bethlehem where the angels appeared to some shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus Christ more than 2000 years ago.

By this time, many of you must have opened the gifts you have received this Christmas. Some are happy, some are not – even disappointed – while there are others who simply do not care at all with the gifts they have received.

But gifts are not everything. What really matters most are the persons and the love and thoughts that come with every gift we have received this blessed season.

Below are some spiritual gifts I feel we need to be thankful too!

The “little door” that leads into the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem that has come to mean the need to bow low and be humble in order to meet Jesus Christ not only inside but also in our daily life. Photo by author, May 2019.
  1. The gift of hope. Hope is not thinking positively that things can get better like the weather. Hope is having a firm belief that even if things get worst, there is God who always loves us, who takes care of us. People with hope always look forward in the future whether here or in eternal life. They are also the most loving people around, the most understanding and most forgiving. They always strive, work hard to make things better for them and for others. Those without hope are the most evil: they will kill and destroy everything and everyone because they have nothing to look forward to in this life or hereafter. The kind of life we live always indicates the kind of hope we have. Or do not have.
  2. The gift of desert. Sometimes, life becomes a desert for us, when we are desolate and so barren with everything dry and even lifeless. But it is during our desert moments in life when we not only meet our true selves but most of all, that is when we meet God. It is in this meeting with God in our desert we experience healing from all our hurts and disappointments in life. We need to withdraw once in a while to our desert to silently pray in order to hear God’s voice anew in our inner selves. In our mass mediated world today when we are bombarded with wants and needs to be rich and famous, the more we end up empty and lost. But when we dare stay in our desert and try to listen in silence, the more we are attuned with life’s realities, the more we are enriched and deepened in our lives.
  3. The gift of intimacy. From our desert experiences of barrenness and desolation, of silence and prayer, and a lot of reflections and introspections come the great gift of intimacy with God and with others. We come to realize who our true friends are when our chips are down, when we are alone and badly bruised and beaten in life. How ironic that when we are so filled with material things, that is when life for us becomes superficial and shallow. But whenever we go through many desert storms, that is when we come to realize the most important in life – the persons who have touched us for better or for worse, the persons who make us experience to be loved and to love.
An oasis at the Dead Sea desert. Photo by author, May 2017.

We shall continue with our other lists of spiritual gifts this Christmas tomorrow.

How about you, what are the spiritual gifts you wish to share with us that may also help us deepen our Christmas celebrations this 2019?

We’ll be glad to hear from you also.

A blessed Christmas weekend to you.

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