One of my greatest St. Nicholas gifts this year
came in the form of conversations.
First, St. Nicholas Eve, at Vigil,
a woman who I have known in passing for years
told me that my writing on Conciliar Post is really
meaningful to her; that was encouraging to hear, as I
often am writing with a feeling of great struggle and sense of
futility in terms of what I am writing.
Second, one of the White Sisters who serve with the
Convent of St Elizabeth in Minsk, a city in Belarus, came to our
church for St. Nicholas vigil and liturgy.
It was wonderful to talk with her at the lunch after liturgy.
I was able to tell her how I had talked with others, both
a Nun who I learned is now an Abbess of a convent about 200 miles from the
St. Elizabeth Convent, and a White Sister when I still lived in Ottawa.
I told the newly met White Sister N. that I have a small icon of the Mother of God
above my sink in the kitchen and that I have a small beautiful box that I got from
them years ago, as well as CDs that I still listen to today.
She and I discussed how our lives are unique, to put it in my words,
that each person has their own path; she talked about her spiritual father
telling her (and I think others) that one must not go a certain way
(even to monasticism) if one does not feel an inner urge to do so...
that each person comes to a place a different way and it
was encouraging, it felt like a confirmation of my life here,
4 years in, to marriage and service in the Church here.
I often experience this gift most when I am talking with a
monastic or someone closely aligned to a monastery, a sense of being
lifted out of my blinded perceptions in my daily life and seeing a higher
'tree top' view that shows me that where I am and what I am doing
is God's Providence for me.
So that was a very great and encouraging gift, one that I know
is there to strengthen me, one that I also know is a miracle,
such times are not always plentiful,
we have to slog away a long time often before we are given
encouragement to keep on with it.
But yet God is merciful and gives us such times.
I am already aware of the next year, as I plan for Christmas,
I see Lent and the Cross; it's an early Lent this year,
which means a longer Apostles fast in the summer.
I am thankful for the St. Nicholas gift from my Husband of
the cookbook I got and that I got also, from a recent book sale,
some new cookbooks that will also help with fasting foods.
We got some special gifts this year for St. Nicholas Day;
the spoons, a faux pearl necklace (gotten at a Market in Maastricht very cheap),
a Delft ornament, a nice red handkerchief for me (I love red!) and an enjoyable
book for Mr. Husband! Everything but the books
are from our trip to Holland; I wanted to wait to enjoy them
as gifts for this special season!
I also got my first birthday card, from a dear friend in Ottawa,
and it's in French! I love it very much!!!
I am about to have visits with family and friends as we go towards
Christmas...so if I don't blog again for a bit,
I want to wish everyone here, esp. those on the new calendar,
a blessed and Merry Christmas!
Christ is born! Glorify Him!