Glory to God in the highest.
Read some of the Christmas issue of America this morning before morning prayer. Not much more reading today; time to read the joy in my brothers instead.
It is a green Christmas on this mild day in the Santa Ynez Valley. Green trees, green grass, green hills -- this must be what the weather was like when Jesus was born. After all, the shepherds' flocks were grazing, were they not?
Mass at midnight was beautiful and fittingly solemn for the occasion. About forty folks from the community joined our entire Capuchin fraternity for worship. Was pleased with my performance of "Bethlehem Is Waiting" in the prelude. Broke my abstinence afterward with a few deviled eggs. Got five to six hours of sleep and returned to chapel at eight-thirty for morning prayer followed immediately by Mass with about twenty-five members of the community and half the fraternity (some went to Mass at Old Mission Santa Barbara). My cantoring was all right -- it was not magical, and my voice, still glued up after the night, felt a little thin and unsteady, but it was strong enough and lyrical enough to lift the congregation into full, active, and conscious participation. Broke my fasting in a serious way afterward with a bowl of cereal, one and a half donuts, Christmas cookies, and some leftover chicken and manicotti. Feeling a rush of energy.
Spoke to all my immediate family an hour ago. They have gathered this year at my sister's house. They are in good spirits and feeling good together. They are one and at peace with each other. We are one and at peace with each other. Amen and alleluia.
After evening prayer at four-thirty, we will have a social, followed by the evening meal at five-thirty with company from the fraternity at Old Mission Santa Ines. Among the desserts are my offerings: vegan gingerbread cookies, and a non-dairy chocolate banana cheesecake. A gift exchange will follow at seven-thirty. Then, to catch up on the sleep I did not get last evening!
Mostly cloudy, not mostly sunny as the weather pages predicted, but no matter -- the light shines through the grayness. The light has always been there. It will always be there. Let us see it; let us feel it with the sense that supersedes our empirical senses.