If Christmas is about the gift of God to us in Christ Jesus, then New Year is about the ability to see what is new, not with the eyes of the world (that only comes on New Year’s day), but with the eyes of Christmas Day and the ear of the heart (St. Benedict’s Prologue to the Rule), the Christ Principle. Two people can look at the festivities of the holiday season and find meaning and happiness but from two vastly different viewpoints. We, humans, have reason for a reason, one of those being to discover meaning and happiness, and then the ability to choose what we reasoned freely as behavior or belief. The difference between the secular Christmas and the Spirit-led birthday of Christ is God loves us so much that He gave of Himself to allow us to be adopted, sons and daughters. Not one of us, even Holy Mother Mary, deserved this love or could have made it happen by our believing it to be so. It was the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, an event that happened once. What makes this different is that Christmas, New Life, Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension are Christ, The Christ Principle, as I now realize it in my life each day.

There is only One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, Scriptures tell us. The implication for individual humans is pivotal in their movement from false self to their true self. The World celebrates Christmas and the New Year with merriment and new year’s resolutions once a year and then it is over and on to something else commercial or meaningful to the individual. Realizing The Christ Principle is the core of each and every day that we seek God, it is celebrating resonance over dissonance, grace over sin, the end to the end(death), and the hope of the Resurrection. The Cistercian practices and charisms are ways that I present myself to God and await the birth of Christ in my consciousness to be a new creation and have in me the mind of Christ Jesus. None of this is about me or what I do. It is about Christ and making all things new through, with, and in Him to the glory of the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. Here are some of my thoughts about The Christ Principle that the Holy Spirit suggested to me this morning.

  • You have asked what the kingdom of heaven is like. Look around you, Michael, it began with your Baptism and continues to make all things new through the Holy Spirit. You live Heaven while you are on this earth, then die (death has no more power over us) and then enjoy what you have made new with the help of The Christ Principle.
  • Heaven, later on, is what you make heaven to be now, while you live out the commands of Christ to love one another as Christ loves us. How you do that, Michael will be your heaven later on.
  • The Holy Scriptures have inspired love letters from God guiding us through the minefield of life. The Devil is always there to dissuade us from doing what is right from what is easy. It is no accident that God inserted His Son, to be Jesus, both divine and human in nature, to show us how to live each day as though we were packing for the trip to heaven (which we do by our good works– St. Benedict, Chapter 4 of the Rule).
  • Michael, your heaven each day is to do God’s will with the help of the Holy Spirit. It sounds easy, but you must empty yourself (Greek: kenosis) of your human inclinations in order to clothe yourself with the mind of Christ. (Philippians 3:5-12). Your baptism called you to die to self in order to rise to new life. You don’t make a born again conversion just one time. You must be born again each and every day, take up your cross and do what Christ did. You will find rest for your soul if you follow the words and heart of Christ. This is the love of Christmas each day, the renewal of the Spirit each day, letting your good works shine on the stand so that others may see them and glorify the heavenly Father who has done such wonders through you.
  • Michael, the body of Christ is composed of living members of those judged worthy by God to have in them the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) sinners all (except Christ and his mother). It is astounding that God would take such wounded humans and allow them to be adopted, sons and daughters. The divine love of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit lift up the wounded nature by Adam and Eve to newness of life each and every day we live on earth so that we can take what we have learned on earth with us to heaven and life that out forever.


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