Snow is falling. It is spreading a pure white blanket over all outdoor things. But it is not really “spreading” a pure white blanket as though it were laying down peacefully, as though it were being gingerly walked across the bed of the earth by a slow and calm parent or a helpful child. No, it is setting down wildly. The wind is blowing quickly and each individual snowflake may rise up several feet, swirl around in a circle, fall a little, travel twenty feet to the south, and rise again before falling. I honestly think the journey is what I’ve just mentioned to the third power. There is a storm out there.
The branches of the bare deciduous trees are shaking madly. The tops and ends of the needled branches of the conifers are too. If the wind can move trees like that, what might it do to a snowflake? And though the snow is dry and quick to be moved, I know there is ice under there.
Today those who are of the faith traditions that celebrate it, celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This means that the mother of God – the mother of Christ – was saved from original sin in her mother’s womb to create a holy temple for God when He should come as her child. The preparation for the conception of Jesus began with Mary’s own conception years and years earlier. This is what all beliefs and prayers of Catholicism and many other traditions are, at their core: a meditation on the Incarnation – God became human. Jesus was 100% human and 100% divine, the creator of all things becoming one of us that humanity might be elevated with more dignity, that the gap between God and man might be closed, that the rift or darkness might be broken for those who ask for almighty help and follow the answers as they come.
Yet we look around and there is still much darkness … though He came. Our prayers don’t always seem to be answered … though He came. And the feast of the Immaculate Conception carries with it a focus on purity as well, and on asking for help in attaining it that we may use no one and truly focus on what is true, good, and beautiful. Yet so many people ask and still struggle.
What is the answer then? There are many that people have given. But one answer is in the snow. It is in this particular snow: the snow out my window. It doesn’t lay down peacefully. There is no calm about the way it falls. Yet in its struggle to join the blanket that covers the earth, with all of it’s drifts and piles and smooth spaces, it does not give up. Though the wind is violent and moves it so, it continues on it’s path until it reaches rest. And it will reach rest, and the blanket will be a tranquil blanket. This is yet to come.
Hope is now nearer than it was before. Let us not give up. Let us not ask for help once or fifty times, and stop, becoming lost in hopelessness. Let us do the work. Let us look for beauty and goodness. Let us continue to try and seek and ask unceasingly for aid in our struggles and those of the earth. Let us not give up. Hope is now nearer than it was before. Now is the time. Great graces will come. Persevere.