When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman.

Let the work of Christmas begin! Let’s begin it together!

8 thoughts on “WHEN THE SONG OF THE ANGELS IS STILLED (Howard Thurman)

  1. What a beautiful and encouraging message Clare! Thank you. I’ll ruminate it for a long time in these gray winter days, after the lights and joys of Christmas are gone.

  2. Thank you Maria Vittoria – I really love that poem – which I first read in the form of a hymn…I love the idea “the work of Christmas begins…”

  3. Yes, love it. The work of Christmas is all year round, but sometimes we have to remember to begin anew – God is a gifting God and gifts us with a renewed heart..

    Fill Me Lord

    Filled , perhaps, too much with the love of a gifting God
    I thought my heart might explode.
    How could I take it all in? How could I hold on to it
    Ever so tightly?
    Cherishing it, promising to nurture it forever?
    How could I ? would I ?
    Small as I am ; how could I hold it even closer within my heart
    Without breaking it, losing it, forsaking it…
    How could I be strong enough to embrace all that is asked?
    In the solemn night I hear the heart: it beats sometimes
    too obviously, too loudly and dare I say,
    I am afraid, so very afraid, and alone
    with the persistent pounding within.
    And I pray, fill me Lord, still me Lord. I am yours.
    Make me an empty vessel ready to receive all that you may ask…

    SM Seymour 2012

  4. Clare’s post has long been one of my favorite poems; Sharyn’s “Fill me Lord” looks like it will soon become a new favorite!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Here is another that has been moving my heart these days:
    From the Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke

    God speaks to each of us as He makes us,
    then walks with us silently out of the night.
    These are the words we dimly hear:
    You, sent out beyond your recall,
    go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.
    Flare up like flame
    And make big shadows i can move in.
    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror,
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.
    Don’t let yourself lose me.
    Nearby is the country they call life.
    You will know it by its seriousness.
    Give me your hand.

  5. After reading Fr. Ron Rolheiser ‘s reflection on praise and the Jesuit motto, “all for the glory of God” I thought about praying the doxology and what it has meant to me over many years and what it continues to mean to me.
    I love chanting the psalms at office. The poetry and the simple psalm tone touch my soul. Also, perhaps, even deeper or at least in another way the doxology touches my soul. To bow deeply from the waist at the Glory be is a very humbling experience. It is a reminder that at the end of every psalm we are called to praise God.
    We don’t just chant the words. There is the physical sign of bowing down deeply. All that we have, all of it, we are giving back to God in praise. We are called to do all for the glory of God. We are called to give praise. To answer this call is so very humbling and it seems to be calling me to praise others as well. Glory be to you for all you do in His name. How very good to acknowledge and genuinely praise what others do rather than engage in self praise.
    I remember even in grammar school writing AMDG on the top of all my school papers and letters. Early in life we learned that what we did was meant to be for the greater glory of God. Good lesson.
    Yes, the Christmas season is over. Now, we are in ordinary time. Even in ordinary time we are called to praise…praise is never put away. Perhaps, it is in the ordinary and every day living that praise is called upon and recognized and cherished the most. I love Clare’s post…the real work of Christmas perhaps begins in ordinary time. Thanks Clare. And Madaleine, I love your post, Rilke’s, ” …don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life.”


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