Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer and Programs Associate, Fatima Godfrey, reflects on this gift of the Holy Spirit in this Christmas time. She shares how wonder and awe are ever-present should we actively choose to accept their call.
Sitting around the dinner table on Christmas day with the Casa Christmas crew, I mentioned to my housemates, “I think one could meditate on the Incarnation for their entire life, and still it wouldn’t be enough time.” I mean, if one did develop a devotion to the Son becoming man, they’d be in good company with saints such as St. Francis.
Truly, how amazing is it to think that God, the Creator of the universe, came to dwell with the human race as an innocent, helpless baby? The Savior of the world met the same developmental milestones as every other human that has and will ever roam the face of the earth. Jesus spent his time in Mary’s womb where he grew a brain, hair, and bones. He had to learn how to speak, walk, and run. He even took the name Jesus so each of us can call on him by name. This is how God chose to dwell among His people.
During the Advent and Christmas season, Christians and faithful worldwide are called to reflect upon this great mystery of God dwelling among us. To do so is impossible without one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of wonder and awe. Every confirmed Catholic is given this gift when anointed with the Holy Spirit during the sacrament of Confirmation. I remember I was particularly excited to receive the gift of wonder and awe myself upon my Confirmation. During the sacrament the bishop prays that the confirmandi is “filled with the spirit of wonder and awe in [God’s] presence.” This gift of the Holy Spirit is meant to reveal God’s presence in our everyday lives.
Now we are in the season to celebrate the Word becoming flesh. This has been an Advent and Christmas season like no other and maybe harder to marvel at this great gift from God. Maybe it has become harder to feel God’s presence. How do we receive the gift of wonder and awe this Christmas?
The Holy Spirit is always willing to give His gifts if we are ready to ask and receive. One way to recognize God’s presence in our lives to become aware of and to name our blessings. In the things that bring us true joy, we can always find the presence of God. Practicing a daily Examen can make this task easier if we find it difficult in the beginning. As I mentioned earlier, pondering the Incarnation is a sure way to experience the wonder and awe of the Lord. Take some time out of the day to ponder the fact that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, humbled Himself and took on our humanity so that we may too share in His divinity. An act so astounding only God could perform and could then later only be fathomed by receiving God-given grace, His gift of wonder and awe, to understand it.
Reflection: How can we be more open to receiving this gift of Wonder and Awe? In what ways is He calling forth this gift from you?