The failure known as Advent 2010 draped down and over like a wet blanket.   The longing to see all the candles lit was overwhelming. Temptation to punish a heart already forgiven by leaving them tall and unlit forced grimy paws around my joy.

Screw the lies.

Christmas Eve is the celebration of Christ’s birth and why shouldn’t I light them?

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Pillar candles nestled in wax crumbles burned bright for hours. They were still burning when I left, alone, for Midnight Mass.

On the way, I listened to this, a gift handed to me from the artist just days before mom died. She hugged me and prayed for mom and I and the family and God moved me through her.

The roads were near empty all the way there and more so after.

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Midnight Mass wasn’t what my memory recollected. No Latin, instead, Spanish. The pews weren’t packed tight, either.

Pews creaked. A heavy breather behind me. Ancient nun with boney fingers playing the organ, all of us awake at Midnight.

Father Eduardo Malagon read from Luke then told of being excited as a child to stay awake for Midnight Mass. It must have been something important because the children were allowed to miss their bedtime. He asked if we knew why the shepherds were the first to be shown the Christ child. Back in time to Abraham, God asked for his son Isaac to be sacrificed. Abraham took Isaac to the alter, Isaac asking where the lamb of sacrifice was. Abraham answered The Lord Will Provide. And who is the first to see a newborn lamb, but the shepherd? And so it was.

Father went on, imagine how excited the shepherds were, they would have wanted to tell everyone. And we are blessed with the Christ child’s birth.

“Go.” Father said, “Go and let your life show the truth.”

“Go.” Father repeated. “Go as you are, just as the shepherds were shepherds, for God has chosen you -in the life you are in-let your life show truth.”

God spoke affirmation out of Father’s mouth. God whispered yesterday “Go and show them who I AM” and at Midnight Mass He poured love over my hesitant heart, repeating.

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