You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes,
and laid in a manger. ~Luke 2:12
We too are wrapped in swaddling clothes. We can do nothing of what we would like to do. Illness, work, the demands of those around us -- all these things hem us in on all sides. We spend a great part of our time groaning over this, and even rebelling: "I had decided this and that, and nothing can take place the way I planned it. And yet the planned retreat was a good idea, and so was the charity I planned to perform, and it was right to hope for a little rest."
Instead of rebelling against everything -- time, things, and people -- we should think of this great lesson of Christmas: Jesus, whose limbs were later to be immobilized on the cross, is already, in His very first days, incapable of movement...He who moves the planets! So we will calm down and, amid the most constrained, the narrowest living conditions, we will enjoy a magnificence, an immense space, for the Light has risen for those who have good will, and the kingdom of God has come close to us.
~Mother Marie des Douleurs, Joy Out Of Sorrow
In your commands I have found my delight; these I have loved. ~Psalm 119:47
Oh, those swaddling clothes! Sometimes they are so constricting, and I chafe in annoyance and resentment. Let me not struggle against them, dear Lord -- rather, let me accept them in love, happily grateful for the opportunity to become more like You, so meek and humble of heart. Amen! Alleluia!