Magis: Alumni Living the Mission(1)

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM PST

St. Nicholas Blessing Prayer
St. Nicholas, holy patron of children,
Bishop of the East,
we invite you to come among us
and to grant us your holy blessing.

Help us in this busy, busy season
not to miss the miracle of the coming of Emmanuel
in the days of preparation
as well as on the feast itself.
Help us not to be blind
to the gifts of getting ready.

Protect us from insincerity.
May every greeting we send
be signed with love, friendship, and prayer.
May our greetings, so written,
be fun to open and treasures to keep.

Kind St. Nicholas,
protect us from shopper’s fatigue.
Show us how to take delight in the marketplace,
now transformed in beauty, lights and music.
Save us from all anxiety over what to give
so that we may concentrate on how to give.

Stand by the stepladder
as we decorate our homes and trees and lives.
May not our decorations be mute
but rather singing symbols,
sacred signs of the evergreen coming of the Lord
of Life.

Help us to remember that mistletoe, holly
and all other ornaments of the season,
were sacred signs to ancient believers.

But, most of all, jolly saint of toys and sweets,
help us to stay youthful, humorous, playful and
as we prepare together for the coming of Christ
with Advent longing.

St. Nicholas, pray for us.

Author Edward Hayes so beautifully captures the joy, tension, and excitement of the holiday season in his prayer to St. Nicholas, a saint who happened to commit his life to service towards those in need and suffering, and whose  feast day is celebrated December 6th.

In our modern living, we may become overwhelmed by the amount of numerous holiday festivities to attend, or the pressures of commercialization and finding the “perfect” gift (“Save us from all anxiety over what to give so that we may concentrate on how to give”). However, we are called to “not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready.” As we enter into the liturgical season of Advent, a time of joy and anticipation, Magis invites you to consider ways to stay mindful in the process of giving and celebrating. Where are the moments to make the most mundane of things – like gift wrapping  or setting the dinner table for family and friends – sacred? Where might you look to give a little more in time, talent, or treasure? Just as Hayes gently nudges us, we are being graced with an opportunity to be mindful in the midst of it all, especially in the everyday moments. This serves also as a reminder that this season we start with gratitude, and from there choose to be generative, abundant, and of service with our love – not only during this time of year, but all year round.

As a special invitation for this month, we encourage you to join us on December 7th at Seattle U for our annual Justice Education Forum – just another way to honor the spirit of St. Nicholas! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Festivus, we at Magis send you our greetings of joy and peace this holiday season.