12/31/2022: The annual letter

December brings annual letters with words and pictures from correspondents far and wide, showing deep warm connection with spouses and children and family and friends, shared achievements, and celebrations. Even when the year brings difficult circumstances (and that absolutely does happen), these annual letters select and offer up the best of events to uplift and cheer.

There is a genuine and wonderful art of holiday living. It’s the gift that many people have, of aligning with loved ones in special places with shared activities, greetings, gifts, and rituals to create a space of happiness and good memories to pass from generation to generation. It looks nice. It’s only right and good to share a worthy update in turn. But what?

Well, here is the annual holiday photo: the flourishing rescue geranium from the urn outside our building management office; plus a gift from a dear neighbor, a Nativity scene that stands on display in the window all year long. And for an annual letter? Reading everybody’s news and looking over the family photos, I searched all month for words that are equally joyful and worth reading.

Father Seraphim Aldea at Mull Monastery posted a talk last year with the title “Don’t deny your doubts and your struggles.” His counsel is to be open and honest about the deepest of them, whether it’s loneliness or anything else, and then to walk the next steps between that reality and the faith that whatever happens “God is love, He has created the world out of love in order to save the world through love.”

Tonight the kitchen Bible fell open to Acts 20:24, to what looks like Paul’s own update message: “…neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.”

The old year is over for us all. The next step awaits.

About maryangelis

Hello Readers! (= Здравствуйте, Читатели!) The writer lives in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths and the English and Russian languages, working in an archive by day and writing at night. Her walk in the world is normally one human being and one small detail after another. Then she goes home and types about it all until the soup is done.
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3 Responses to 12/31/2022: The annual letter

  1. wendyrud says:

    Beautiful, Mary ❤️ I love this! All of it—picture, quotes—all. And I needed it especially today. Spending time with family who are hurting is hard for me, but Grace of God/Holy Spirit and mindfulness healers I can. Now gifting myself with time in nature and some online Al-Anon and codependents Anon meetings and at Mary’s Garden and lighting candles in chapel while visualizing wrapping those I love who are hurting in beautiful quilts (myself also) and giving them to a Loving Higher Power so I can let go with love.

    I hand-stamp jewelry with spiritual quotes and I wear 3 small bracelets “God is Love” “The Infinite Goodness” (takes all who turn to it is rest of quote) and one stamped wit letters “ING IDK & TOK(heart) as a reminder that I’m not God, I don’t know & That’s ok and the heart to remind me to be compassionate toward all parts of myself and that all I can do is remember that God and their spiritual helpers are there for them so I don’t act out my frustration toward them or myself—that all deserve loving kindness.

    I am so grateful that you share about your spiritual journey—it is such a gift. 🙏
    Blessings and Namaste,

    • maryangelis says:

      That sounds like such a meaningful holiday, and a wonderful kind of annual letter. Maybe some people with hurts come into our lives so that they will have someone to send them compassion? Your jewelry sounds just beautiful, not only in a visual but in an energetic way. Thank you for these kind words, they did my heart good today! Mary

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