on the tenth day of Christmas (January 3, 2018), my True Love gave to me the gift of surprise

Note: These prayers, one for each day of the twelve-day Christmas season, in which my True Love is God, follow the pattern of that well-known 18th century English carol with a number of the days illumined by the observances of the Church calendar.

O gracious God, today, I read again and reflected anew upon the birth narratives of Your Son Jesus;(1) ne’er ceasing to be struck, dumbfounded with surprise. For You, O lofty Creator of the infinite cosmos, spake Your word of conception to a young unwed woman, betrothed to a carpenter, who brought forth her first-born child – Your word of that birth first proclaimed to lowly shepherds – in a feeding trough for animals. And all this after a journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in response to a despot’s decree for a census, then later to flee as powerless refugees under the threat of death by yet another tyrant.

I stand surprised, O gracious God, for I, so wedded to this world, tend, still and often, to think and feel in accord with earthly standards; thus, needing to confess again and again that power and pride are preferred and humility, hard; that public praise seems greater than private virtue; that self-interest comes easily, painlessly and self-sacrifice, as supernatural, oft (alway?) transcends my desiring.

By Your Spirit, daily pour Your Son’s story into the empty vessel of my soul. Daily fill me. Daily mold me. Daily remake me Yours.



(1) Matthew 1.18-25, 2.13-15; Luke 1.26-38, 2.1-20

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