Jesus comes to us not because we're all dressed up and ready to worship. Jesus comes because we are feeble and frail and messed up and in need of a makeover, a do-over, a life jacket.

Jesus comes not because we've got it together, but because we are battered and missing pieces and coming apart.

Jesus is born amidst our chaos, our confusion, our battle of wills, our noise, our sadness, and our sins. Jesus comes to redeem all of it. And all of us.

***

So there I was, on my knees that Sunday as the Christmas season ended. And there was Jesus, the bringer of my moment's peace, and so much more.

In those few vital moments, as I knelt there—just sick of myself, and the swirling flood engulfing me—Jesus offered holy patience, and it's the staying kind: a grace that buoys my boat. Through this season of storms, he will continue to hold the rudder if I let him.

I wanted escape. He asked to stay.

I wanted to run from it all. He desired that I run to his embrace.

I wanted peace. He is true peace.

This is the ever-present present—the gift of faith—the chance to turn everything that threatens to drown us over to the One who overcomes, who turns chaos into order, order into peace.

It should come as no surprise, and yet it amazes me again and again that he should meet me, exactly in this moment—in his Presence after communion.

This winter I had wanted to chart my own course, but had to yield to God's. Jesus reminds me that his Divine Will holds my highest good—and my loved one's too—that he is working in me, and through me when I cooperate with his plans, even in harsh seasons.

"In him all things hold together" (Col. 1: 17).

***

I think of this new year as a white page given to me by your Father, on which he will write, day by day, whatever his divine good pleasure has planned. I shall now write at the top of the page, with complete confidence: Domine, fac de me sicut vis, Lord do with me what You will, and at the bottom I already write my Amen to all the proposals of your divine will. Yes, Lord, yes to all the joys, the sorrows, the graces, the hardships prepared for me, which you will reveal to me day by day. Grant that my Amen may be the Paschal Amen, always followed by the Alleluia, uttered wholeheartedly in the joy of a complete gift. Give me your love and Your grace and I shall be rich enough.—Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, OCD