Journeying with Hope into a New Year
Reflections for Advent and Christmas
Paul R. Dekar
Journeying with Hope into a New Year: Reflections for Advent and Christmas originated in 1982 when our family lived at Tantur, an ecumenical institute between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. My wife Nancy and I sent family and friends a letter highlighting our experience of Christmastide in the Holy Land. Inspired by writing this message from afar, we continue each year to write a letter with family news, a moving quote from a hymn or literary work, and spiritual reflections. These provide the basis for thirty-one meditations to be read daily through the month of December. Each includes a biblical text, a brief meditation, and a prayer. These may enable readers to experience more than the commercialism of the season and be led to magnify Jesus, the One who is at the heart of why we celebrate Christmas or write New Years' Resolutions. A line in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery summarizes a crucial idea informing this collection: "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."