What are you celebrating this season?
by Cdr (Padre) Jennifer Gosse,
The holiday season is now in full swing. Most of the seasonal parades are already over, some lucky ones among you may have already completed your shopping lists and many of the traditional treats you enjoy this time of year have already been eaten or drunk with expectations of more to come in the weeks ahead.
So many faith traditions and cultures celebrate at this time of the year. If yours is one of them you may have family or religious traditions that you are looking forward to that will remind you of who you are and where you come from. It is not a coincidence that at this time of the year here in the northern hemisphere, when hours of daylight are at a minimum and cold is reaching its maximum, we turn our thoughts inwards, looking for joy and hope in the people who are important to us and in the traditions that comfort and sustain us.
This time of the year brings up memories for all of us. For many those will be good memories, thoughts of years past when we felt loved and cared for. For others however, the memories that arise can be painful ones – perhaps reminders of past hurts or loved ones lost who we still miss and long for.
Whatever this season is for you, I pray that you will be able to find something to celebrate: a year well lived; a difficult time survived; a new relationship begun; an old hurt forgiven; a stronger connection to the Holy in your life (however you may name or define it); and a greater sense of how precious you yourself are and what a blessing you are to your family and friends.
If you are struggling to find something to celebrate, something that will bring you joy and satisfaction in your life, know that your chaplains are here for you. Though we ourselves are from different faith backgrounds and traditions, we all believe that every human life has a dignity and value that far exceeds anything we can begin to understand. You are one of the reasons we chaplains celebrate this season. We are proud of you and the tremendous work you do, and we feel privileged to be able to wear the uniform you wear and share in your joys and sorrows.
Whatever you celebrate this year, your MARLANT Chaplain Team celebrates with you. May hope, peace, joy and love be yours as 2018 comes to an end and a new year begins.