Seasons of My Heart

By Fr. Donald Kill

Columban Father Don, from USA, was ordained in 1972 and was assigned in Mindanao ever since. At present, he resides in Singalong.

Thanksgiving 2018 is upon us. Some with turkey and cranberry sauce on their minds are looking forward to eating far too much when they already weigh far too much. The change in the liturgical colors, from green and white to violet dramatizes our entering into a new season in the Church calendar.

Advent Wreathes, in the Churches and in many homes, act as calendars marking the beginnings of each week in this season of preparation for the celebration of the Birth of Our Savior.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, as individuals, as a nation and as a world community, we recognize that the season of Advent, with Christmas and a new year are just around the corner. I wonder what season is truly present in my soul at this time. Is it summer, fall, winter or spring in my heart of hearts?

I ask myself, “Is my heart getting ready for Christmas? Does my heart beat with the heat of summer waiting for the birth of the precious Child? Do the colors and lights remind me of the grand painting of the earth in the fall season? Does the winter’s cold seep in to bring on the beauty and innocence of new fallen snow? Does the new life of spring remind me of the New Life brought to us by the Savior whose birth I remember and celebrate?” Whatever the weather within my heart and soul, I bring thanks to my God for making ready the way for Jesus to enter my heart.

But how do I prepare for such a great event? The coming of my Savior!

The “holiday season” is all around me and the “commercial season” is emptying out many bank accounts. I have no bank account to empty. What can I give?

The “social season” of decorations, gifts and parties will go on and on from Thanksgiving Day to the celebration of the New Year. None of these, however, is particularly beneficial in helping me welcome Jesus into our world, into my life, into my heart. These are all distractions which keep me from knowing the true joy of the Christmas Feast.

A Thanksgiving Dinner, USA

The parties, the dinners, the shopping can all leave people with an empty feeling when the dazzling days and nights of glitz and glamour are over. They need not lead to joy and love and peace. They often lead to the awesome heat of a scorching summer that burns the soul and the love within; they can color over the beauty of a life lived in peace and allow the frigid ice of contempt and anger to take over the soul and prepare the mud of the spring rains that make slippery the downward spiral to fighting and separation. The emptiness of this kind of celebration often leads to a loss of love between family members and often causes the breakup of families. Not something to be thankful for.

What is not helpful is buying, consuming and filling up on everything when what I need is to empty myself and make room for Jesus to come into my heart so he can make himself at home there. What is helpful is finding some quiet time to sit with the Lord in prayer and share with Him the signs of the season, whatever season is in my heart right now.

That’s what Thanksgiving is all about: being thankful for Jesus coming to make his home among us and within us.

What is helpful to me is doing whatever I can to avoid extravagance and over-indulgence. So many give more and more to those who already have so much, who already have too much. So few reach out to those who have so little and who need so much.

I have to ask myself, “What gifts can I give to others who are really in need of a gift from me? I cannot buy an earthly gift but I can welcome each person who comes into my life with the presence and peace of Jesus. I can give hope to a family that needs not only food to eat, but hope for the future. How can I bring them Hope, Healing, Peace and a small measure of Happiness?

The greatest gift ever given or received was God’s gift of Love to us in the birth of Jesus. I pray that my Thanksgiving for that great gift will bring that love into my heart and soul and bring a season of healing, a season of hope, a season of peace to all.

May you be thankful for His Peace and His Joy not only on Thanksgiving Day but every day of your life.