Written by Visitation Alumna, Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan

Winter Solistice

Winter Solistice

As we continue on our Lenten journey we rejoice this week! It is fitting that the third week of Advent also coincides with the Winter Solstice, December 21, a time when the earth is covered in the longest period of darkness, the longest night of the year. When our world is cloaked in darkness the light shines the brightest. A mom of three children, who lives a few houses down from us, recently said, “It took me this long to make the connection between the winter solstice, Christmas and Christianity. That Jesus is the light of the world! And that his light would shine the brightest in the darkest time of the year.”

So, as we prepare our hearts this week, a time when faith and generosity overcome impossibility. Let the outer lights we light become metaphors for the light we need within. By lighting our inner world we illuminate patterns of brokenness that we wish to reconcile, to let go of, and this is easier to do when we feel joy, lightness, and love instead of sadness, longing, and old hurts. Perhaps we attend the sacrament of reconciliation, or find ways to make amends with ourself or others where we need bridges. Maybe, we mark the Winter Solstice candles of joy and with a ritual that allows us to shed old baggage in preparation for the Christ Child. Whatever acts of joyful light you chose to nurture bask in it, for light at this time of year is a true gift–let it radiate out from your very own tender heart!

Rejoice the time is near!

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Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan is a 1993 graduate of the Mendota Heights Visitation; she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and three sons. She is a freelance writer who is passionate about motherhood and sharing Salesian Spirituality . We are happy to feature her here as a guest blogger from time to time.


SKatherine · December 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Beth, this is so so lovely. The picture is stunning too and brought me right into your words.A moment of calm in a day filled with preparations. In a recent homily Fr. John Brandes was saying that the summer solstice (June 21st) is near the Feast of the birth of John the Baptist. John is known to have said, “I must decrease and He must increase.” The light after June 21 decreases until December 21, Feast of the birth of Christ.” I found this rather interesting. SK2

Annette Scotti · December 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Beth – sooo stunning…so beautiful and perfect for this season. Thank you. I also see an influence of the Visitation formation in you well.

sr. suzanne homeyer · December 19, 2010 at 6:54 am

dear beth, love the picture…john the baptist is my favorite prophet/forerunner/herald/martyr and one who really ‘knew’ jesus. thanks for this great article…IT is light in the darkness of this advent for me. thanks. sr. suzanne

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