Friends, from now until Monday, January 13, and the return of “Ordinary Time,” we’re all in for a lot of BIG MUSIC, especially here in the Abbey church. John Woznisky, Gareth Haynes and the Abbey choristers (I like calling them by that title!) will be serving up what the Germans call Pauken and Blasen (drums and brass). Our sung prayer will channel the angelic sounds the Bethlehem shepherds heard on high.

But the dark cold of these days also calls us into silent reflection:

–         on blessed memories of men and women who have shaped our sense of the seasons in special foods and decorated houses, journeys to loved relatives and friends;

–         for new gifts of gratitude not only for what’s under the tree but for renewed and/or deepened friendships, healed relationships, new depths of faith;

–         with tears called up by chairs that will never again be filled by those who made our Christmases complete and who now are present in the sharp pain of their absence.

The paradox is that the work God does with and in us in the Silent Nights can only add to the depth of our caroling. Otherwise we risk the danger of just making BIG NOISE.