Advent and Christmas are spiritually intense and sobering seasons. They ought to be. We are awakening to God as if from a dead sleep or from a drunken stupor. We awaken to the light, but doing so means we must face the darkness within and around us. Some on this path can become overly serious. Others, aware of the spiritual depth present before them, slide into a hot critique of the material excesses of the holidays. A few get grumpy because we ate too much and exercised too little. Before I return to some guidance on entering more fully the interior, spiritual life through the Jesus Prayer, I invite you during this Epiphany season to:

  • Do something, otherwise worthless, that brings you pleasure today,
  • As you do, become aware of the muscle tension in your face and jaw,
  • While you give yourself to something pleasurable, feel yourself smile,
  • And if your smile tilts toward laughter, let go and give yourself to a good chuckle.

Remember this: G.K. Chesterton said, "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."  But devil fell by sheer force of gravity.