A (Stolen) Christmas Prayer for Tomorrow

Huggable gifts from Sharon Zarling to 
some of my kids at Tiospa Zina

Sometimes we encourage our students to take a look at what others are doing, what ideas others are trying, and see if it works for them. This is the odd-opposite of “cheating” on a test or project. It fosters collaboration, sharing, ohoda (respect), teh╠çinda (kindness/mercy), and it reflects the reality that much of our world (but not so much our country) “gets.” The hard things happen well only when we connect, collaborate, and work together.

It’s not always “stealing” to take what another has done and share it or even emulate it. But, a collective mindset is oh-so-hard in a US culture driven by competition, individualization, and win-lose, where even intellectual “property” is defended with laws and lawsuits.

“Sharing ideas and solutions” versus “stealing” them… it is sure hard to explain to children!

Anyway, those are my thoughts as I share this Christmas Prayer I received via a mailing list with the Catholic Climate Covenant, a group in which I participate. 

It offers a good reflection for me (and hopefully for you!) as we celebrate the ultimate sharing… God-with-Us.

Merry Christmas from the prairie!

(I told the kids it took me all week to “grow”
these reindeer out of my head.)

A Christmas Prayer

Christmas Day 2021

On this morning, we pray to Joseph, an anxious father who, just the evening before, had to tell his beloved wife, Mary, that the best he could do was to bed her down in an animal shed, and hope that it would be warm enough and comfortable enough as she labored to give birth to their child.

St. Joseph, help us to appreciate that our plans will not always work, and we must adjust to make do, trusting that God will be with us.

On this morning we pray to Mary, Mother of Jesus, a woman exhausted from the pain of childbirth, but joyous that her newborn son was resting peacefully even if it was a simple bed of straw, wrapped in whatever material was available. You endured a long night but somehow knew that this tiny miracle, composed of the essence of the universe, would change the course of history.

Blessed Virgin, be with us as we endure our own trials. Help us to realize that the dawn will come, all will be well, trusting that God will be with us.

On this morning, we pray to an infant Jesus just hours old, born of the earth and on the earth, waiting for the first light to illuminate the face of his mother and father, blissfully unaware of what has just happened, and what his future holds: love and laughter, friends and family, power and humility trust and betrayal, life, death and, yes, resurrection.

Dear Jesus, enlighten us creatures of the universe, so we may hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, that we may love deeply, laugh heartily, and be moved by suffering. Teach us to exercise power wisely, face life fully and die with dignity trusting that you, our beginning and our end, are always with us.

Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant