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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

December 31, 2023: The Christmas lantern shines on shadows. Old paradigms fade. New clarity is found

Sunday, December 31, 2023: New Year's Eve!

The Christmas lantern shines on shadows. Old paradigms fade. New clarity is found.

Announcement from Nancy and Bob:

EMMAUS Movie Afternoon

Monday, January 8th at 2pm -

Let's watch MAESTRO! at Nancy and Bob’s

Seating is limited to 14. So RSVP soon!

The discussion will be wonderful.

Please bring a snack or finger food to share...

RSVP to Nancy using her email:



Here's a brief video to provide some background for the film:

Leonard Bernstein and the film Maestro: from Sunday Morning in CBS News


Here’s the link:


The new film "Maestro" tells the complicated love story between composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein and his wife, actress Felicia Montealegre. Correspondent Mo Rocca talks with Bradley Cooper, the movie's star, co-writer, producer and director, about playing one of the most charismatic and controversial musical figures of the 20th century. He also talks with Bernstein's children (Jamie Bernstein, Nina Bernstein Simmons, and Alexander Bernstein) about the life and legacy of their father being brought to the screen.

Daily Reflection: You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

A new year begins. The festival of light continues to glow in our soul.

Be as children who shine like Christmas lanterns: transparent and innocent, unafraid of bleak nights and egoistic frights.

Be as generous as candles whose body conflagration becomes the flame which proclaims, Christ is born, now. The light has come! Christ is awake in holy, fulgent brightness.

(Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!)

Imagine then,

your life like a lantern,

your mind, the container,

the body, a candle,

your heart, an altar of fire.

Dancing on the breath of The Beloved,

you are ignited with The Virgin's desire.

Your little light flickers, pulsing in directions unknown.

Soul center turns from blue to white hot.

She sees there are no limits, no boundaries.

She never burns out.

The lantern warms, alive in feeling, flushed with the heat of illumined inspiration. It does not know how to express this in substance. It knows only a longing to be translucent. Words, poetry, hymns seem for a fleeting moment to define it, but then …

Imagine the body is like wax melting, giving itself completely; and this, a surrender deeply coveted by angels. They hush at transmutations of color bleeding through human beings.

They know this alchemy is holy, hallowed, heaven appearing on earth. (Mary, did you know?)

Imagine the healing, your entire pulmonary system transporting fire-soaked blood, the breath coming and going in warm gusts of generosity, receiving and giving, accepting and releasing. The thaw of paraffin, once stiff without purpose, is abandoned to the sweetness of consent, its call to illumine God's world.

The Christmas lantern shines on shadows. Old paradigms fade. New clarity is found.

Thought is a source of radiant, relaxing heat, mind an open pipeline of flammable jets which crisp the year behind, bringing the lamp to examine what is energetically of value now and what has been cheap fuel.

The rigid boxes, the rules from which I thought I knew God, vaporize. I cannot think God, I cannot keep God for myself, but every anti-Christic tendency turns to ash.

The moment is burning.

The heart of your lantern, like the wick, is an altar of crossovers, its secret power that of passage to consummation. A tongue of flame flares, its conflagration the radiance in which God's creations do appear. A dark life offered is perfected, purified. It's little benefaction breaks the night with emanations of resplendent love.

In the new year, body, mind and soul remember the lantern as an image of human-Christ. Frame, candle, wick, stream love's light. Heart thaws, its sweet magma exposed. A shimmering river of good will flows. No reservoir can hold it. No ego-made brigade can stop the desire for giving.

Christ must beam, must birth, must be light upon the earth. (Mary nodded; the drum sounds, pa rum pa pum pum.) A fragile lamp, a bit of tallow, an unsteady flame becomes the sun of love. (A newborn king to see, pa rum pa pum pum.) Hearts, minds impassioned, bind. (Shall I play for you? pa rum pa pum pum.) Thin and weak rays blend and burst into the vivid brilliance of eternal innocence. (So to honor them, pa rum pa pum pum.)

Me and my drum.

MaryBeth Scalice

Reflection by MaryBeth Scalice, MA. Ed.D. is a therapist and teacher from Milton, Massachusetts, president of the Foundation of Open Hearts and author of Write, Beloved, Write: The Living Breathing Poetry of God

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