Searching for Christ Within the Present Time

Dec 28 / Mary Hally
The Christmas season is filled with grand expectations. I imagine nothing less than consistent celebratory moments of stereotypical festive decorating, delicious baked treats, and social gatherings – to name a few. An abundance of food, materialistic treasures, and a certain image of what Christmas time should look like revisits my array of intentions each year with an underlying comfort. Yet, there is a consistent gratitude over the years for the story of the coming of light through Jesus, and a wondering of what the birth invited.

Over this evolving year, my soul has been building upon a desolate state as shifts, and transitions have escalated like a domino effect. My heart has broken time and time again without any pause to heal in-between. I recognize how my yearnings for past experiences of joy and celebrations of the birth of Jesus has shifted. Rather than imagine this season as a festive celebration of the birth of my greatest spiritual mentor, I contemplate with hope for Jesus to reveal, ways in which God is within our modern world as Christ.

As I reflect upon ways in which our language connects with the light of Christ, I begin to recognize how expansive light is experienced through our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Light is not to be just visual. Rather, light is to be seen, heard, smelt, savored and felt– then transcended within the heart to comfort and heal.

A Divine presence has highlighted all that is familiar, comfortable, and convenient through my senses. In the spotlight is the recognition of societal norms and ways that I have been conforming to this world. An ever-present ignited spark of intense resistance through discomfort leads me to see a dimming of a familiar pattern. Worldly norms of the past have taught me that certain ways of our world are non-progressive and unloving. This awareness has housed my spirit into a place of discomfort, uncertainty, and confusion while all that has been known is shifting, as well as my confidence in my own abilities.

Yet, a soft whispering voice, “intuition” reignites the light within my heart by moments triggered by a consistent yearning to love unconditionally. The inner voice within others guides me in different ways to redirect my path. For example, as a mother, do I continue to have expectations for my children that seem to be instilling anxiety and self-doubt in their own gifts and abilities per the pressures of what is “normal”? Additionally as a woman in her 40s, can I accept that I am loved within my aging body, as I grow in reprioritizing my own image of self and outer beauty?

In Beth and David Booram’s book, When Faith Becomes Sight: Opening Your Eyes to God’s Presence All Around You, they share that moments of contemplative invitations are, “shimmering attractions”.

The phrase ‘shimmering attractions’ suggests light, reflection, movement... They seem to take you by surprise. You don’t seek them; they seek you… They draw you in, begging for closer examination, for deeper reflection. (pg. 12)

The story of Jesus creates an image of a baby being born into poverty, a time of unjust intentions, and human authority leading with a lack of moral centeredness. The birth of Jesus includes a highlighted recognition of Jesus’s parents, Mary and Joseph. They received an invitation from a Divine presence to commit to model love fearlessly. Inviting their Son to accept invitations to represent the image of light and love, throughout His own spiritual journey.

New meaning is unveiled in the birth of Jesus, as I feel lonely, heartbroken, off-balance, and more. The poverty of my own soul is desiring to be in the endless birthing presence of abundant light. Not just every December, but within each moment. As I imagine this longing, the words visit me, “We, like the wise men of old, should seek the Christ and lay before Him the most precious of gifts; a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” - Unknown

As our world concludes the Year 2020 there remain questions with growing mystery to unfold. I grow in awe and wonder as I recognize an inspiration through hope, strength, resilience, and confidence within the human spirit that is collectively shifting its consciousness in understanding what the experience of Christ truly is within our current times.

I wonder, how do you contemplate the light of Christ within this present time?

Mary Hally

Mary Hally is a Spiritual Director who enjoys accompanying individuals of all ages to build an inner confidence of connecting and discovering invitations from God within their days. Her own experiences of encountering the Holy in our midst inform Mary’s gift for helping others to recognize the possibility of divine presence both in beauty and in life’s challenges. To contact Mary, please email her at