Winter Solstice ~ 2016

Winter Solstice        December 17th 2016                             
Here in ‘ An Tairseach’ and indeed before ‘An Tairseach’ came into being, we tried to live according to the  rhythms of the seasons. It is easy for us to do that here in the Northern hemisphere, because we are blest with the seasons.
Both the summer solstice and the winter solstice put us in touch with light and darkness.  We become more in tune with what is actually happening in nature. Because it takes time and effort to celebrate them, we are made more aware of the mystery of our universe.  We are also more aware of the rhythm of nature in the Southern hemisphere as well as the Northern hemisphere.
The equinoxes celebrated in mid-March and mid-September put us in touch with the times of balance in nature. Equal day and equal night.  In March, we celebrate the spring time, new life and growth and in September we celebrate harvest time.
In celebrating the solstices and equinoxes, we are made aware of the turning wheel of the year. Indeed, many of our feasts for example, Christmas was deliberately placed at the appropriate time in nature.  At the winter solstice we celebrate the birth of light.  The birth of Jesus heralds new life and ‘the light of the world’.
It is a privilege to celebrate these times in nature and our hope is that these celebrations will become more and more common in our world.  They are all invitations to help us pause and give thanks for the wonder of our universe.

Sr. Pauline McGrath

Saturday, 17 December 2016