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Cathi Kennedy offers encouragement to keep seeking the Light of Christ and sharing it with those around us.

As I write this, unwrapped gifts are stacked against my bookcase and my Christmas cards sit unaddressed and unopened, taunting me. I'm ignoring it all, choosing to sit with my Christmas-themed mug of coffee and stare at my beautifully lit Christmas tree.   

By the time you are reading this, the packages will have been torn open, and crumbs of cookies will be all that remain. All the planning, baking, shopping, and entertaining are done. Some people will take down their decorations and put away the tree, but I will keep the lights on.   

Now that the sun goes down at 5:15 PM, my drive home from work is in the dark and I love seeing the houses lit up. I love the picture-perfect houses, the not-so-perfect-looking houses, the houses with just one strand of lights wrapped around a window or tree—they all make me smile.   

Winter in northern Indiana is bleak, dark, and gray. Weeks can go by with no sunshine. All the gray causes havoc for me emotionally and mentally. I chase the light during this season. Whether it's the neighbors' outdoor Christmas lights, candles on our mantel, my light therapy lamp, or the twinkle lights I've hung in my library, I try to surround myself with it like armor against the darkness. I feel the warmth, absorbing the light through my skin. It helps my mood, focus, energy, and heart.  

We are told many times in the Bible that Jesus is light.

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12). 




The Bible also says that we are to be light as Christians.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).


We were made to shine: to be a beacon to draw others to Christ. And we cannot do that on our own power. We need to be filled with Christ's light and reflect His light to others.   

Looking back on the year, I realize I have been chasing Jesus more than ever. His light gets me through it all: it makes me thankful for the good days and guides me through the hard days. When I'm filled with Jesus' light, I am kinder to those around me. I'm a better wife, mother, and friend.   

This year, I've been more consistent than any other year at having some morning quiet time with God: writing prayers, listening to the Catechism in a Year podcast, reading the Bible. I’ve gone to daily Mass at least once a week in addition to Sunday. It has a cumulative effect: the more we pour Jesus into our lives, the more we can pour His love and mercy into others. Grace builds upon grace. 


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We need to be filled with Christ's light and reflect His light to others. #CatholicMom


It has been a dark, challenging year. Many people I know and love are struggling. I've had my own battle with depression and sadness (two different things, although they tend to be lumped together). There is war, hate, and violence in the news every day. It would be easy to get swallowed up by the darkness.   

So I ask you to keep the lights on. Keep the candles lit. Keep going to Mass and reading your Bible. Fill your life with external and internal light—and shine so bright. 



Copyright 2023 Cathi Kennedy
Images: Canva