St Therese of Lisieux once spoke gently; and she gently spoke these words:
‘If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter.’
And these are good words as we smile our way through the pre-Christmas anxiety race of purchase, packing, party and plans.
She speaks gently to us because she does not demand self-hate or self-punishment. There is never a season for these impostors.
Instead, she invites us to allow error in ourselves; to permit cracks in our shiny self-image.
How easy is that for you?
Some people say ‘I must do this’ or ‘I must be that’, when this is not so and makes for tension and pressure.
This being human is difficult; and sometimes the season can make it more so… Christmas can become Stressmas.
So our meditation today is towards allowing the cracks in our protective shell of perfection; a shell polished and maintained by our frightened ego.
We will practice being kind to ourselves, there is nothing we must be, and cracks are OK.
As Leonard Cohen sings, ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light get’s in.’
Perhaps even the light of the stable?