What Do You Want for Christmas?

December 24, 2021

What do you most want for today? What do you most need? I don’t mean what present you hope is under the Christmas tree waiting to be unwrapped. I mean, what do you most desire when you listen to your heart? Is it reconciliation with a family member? A greater sense of patience and understanding for a difficult relative whom you’ll be seeing soon? A loosening of the grip that loneliness, depression, or grief has on you? An ability to deeply savor the joy and peace of your Christmas celebration?

What do you think God most desires for you today?

When I first started in spiritual direction, my director would often ask me questions like that. “What do you think God is feeling for you right now?” “How do you think God feels about that?” “What do you think God wants?” The frustrated answer that always leapt to mind first was, “I don’t know. How am I supposed to know what God wants?” Slowly, over time, I came to learn and believe what St. Ignatius taught: that our deepest desires are God’s desires in us. If deep in my heart I genuinely desire reconciliation with a family member, God wants that too. If I want relief from my grief, God wants that for me too. If I want to be better able to savor the little joys from the holiday, why wouldn’t God want that for me too? Wouldn’t God already be working in my heart to bring these things about?

For prayer: Ask God for what you most deeply want this holiday season. Ask for the grace to see how God is bringing it about.