I love Christmas. I love it. I love that we have a holiday that can be centered around Christ, our Lord and Savior. That we can remember in this beautiful season the birth of a Redeemer, a rescuer who is Christ the Lord. This Christmas season is a time to think about what Christ has done for me. Sisters, He has done so much. For each of us. I would like to challenge all of us to think about our relationship with Jesus Christ and all He has done in our lives. My favorite Christmas song is “Silent Night.” I went on a study abroad to Austria, and we got to go to the silent night chapel. I want to share something that I wrote about that experience, and I would love to hear or have you think about similar experiences you have had. Merry Christmas (and happy finals...)
We all squeezed together, fitting into the tiny church on the few skinny benches facing the simple beauty of an unadorned crucifix. The guide told us the history of the church and then began to leave, motioning us towards the next spot. The Dr’s Hinckley looked at each other, holding their hastily done hand-written papers. Dr. Hinckley hesitated for a moment, and then jumped in, timidly asking the guide if we might sing “Stille Nacht” in the very chapel the music was born in. Of course the guide complied and sat down to listen to us sing. The Hinckley’s passed out the papers, sharing one among three or four of us, and a room full of music majors began to sing.
At first, it was just powerful. Very powerful, with tenderly in-tuned musicians singing a well-known song with all of their strength, all of us especially aware that this was a special place to sing a beloved hymn in. But then I started to listen. We were singing in German, but I felt every word. “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht.” “Silent Night, Holy night, son of God, loves pure light.” Son of God. The light and life of the world. Born to save the world, born to save each soul, born to love, born to let us live, born to give light and hope to any life that wishes to be filled. Son of God. Loves pure light. The spirit of God filled my heart, its warmth bringing tears to my eyes, and I knew with the surety of an ever-burning fire that He lives and that I am on a mission here to testify of Him in every moment, with every part of my simple life.
We left the church and went off to do other things, but my mind couldn’t leave that moment with my Savior. As I walked I wandered back to the church, a lonely traveler seeking my place on earth and heaven. I went inside and stood again in that simple building, tears falling down my cheeks as I pondered on the many things in my heart. I picked up a candle, which in the Catholic faith symbolizes a prayer, and placed it in the black candelabra, then lit a match and held the flame to the wick of my little white candle. That small flame burned brighter to me than a thousand torches in the darkest night. And I prayed, Lord, take this prayer and let it burn always in my heart.
Silent night, holy night, Son of God, loves pure light.