We live next to the Griswolds.
And catty-corner from another house of Griswolds. And directly across the street from neighbors whose outdoor Christmas lights are approaching “LEVEL UNLOCKED: GRISWOLDS.” Same with the neighbors on the other side of our house. In other words, our neighborhood is so strung up with Christmas lights that, when we failed to get our leaves raked over the weekends of November, we will be perfectly comfortable raking our front yard of an evening, all by the blazing glow of our neighbors’ decorations. We’ll even be able to listen to all their musical decorations as we finally scrape up our leaves in the piercing cold. There are our own lights as well; they’re just not as, um, heavily applied, nor are they accompanied by any three-dimensional pre-lit LED tinsel Nutcracker soldiers, inflatable air-blown penguins sliding down a nylon ice floe, or an aluminum pole with strings of lights descending from its top, forming the shape of a Christmas tree.
Our is the Boring House.
My family wants more—more of what our neighbors have. Really wants more. Every year, it’s a battle, and I’m the Bad Guy, digging in my heels and pointing out that we can either have our own roof-carpet of lights and an LED menagerie in the yard … or we can have gifts. Pick one.
When Servant of God Patrick Peyton, founder of Family Rosary, was a young boy in Ireland, he noticed that there was a difference between his family, who prayed the Rosary together every day, and other families who did not. He noticed that those families who prayed together had what he called “a spirit of faith.” It was this observation that led him to devote his priestly ministry to promoting the daily family Rosary.
What does any of that have to do with Christmas lights?
Our family may not have millions of bulbs emblazoning our yard, but we do have the Rosary. Our Lady promises that her Rosary is, essentially, a string of lights — Christ’s light, shining out into the darkness. One of her promises even reads, “Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His graces.”
What I have to ask is, are we sharing that light with our neighbors? If I’m honest, my answer is, “Not very well, no.” We are a family of hard-core introverts, so it’s terribly difficult for us to reach out to neighbors who are just as busy as we are, if not more so, and with whom we don’t have anything obviously in common besides geographical location. Still, how can they tell that we love Jesus if we hardly speak with them? Again, I’m already the Bad Guy here, making our family deliver jars of homemade marshmallows or other treats at Halloween and Christmas (and Easter when I can manage it), but is that enough?
Ah. Now it seems I’m the one who wants more. Really wants more.
Have you ever felt like what you had wasn’t enough? Have you had to battle your family when they wanted more than what you had to give?
When our families pray the Rosary with Our Lady, we allow ourselves to be transformed into strings of lights, one joined to the next, shining out into the darkness. What does that light look like? Sometimes it just needs to be the steady glow of being satisfied with what we have, with who we are. The Rosary plugs our family into the power source that will just keep giving, and what we do with that energy will change and grow, so long as long as we remain plugged in.
Maybe nobody in our neighborhood has been drawn to our light yet — our “spirit of faith.” I have to hope that that spirit will only grow in us as long as we remain dedicated to cultivating it. The more His light grows in us, the more others may be drawn to that spirit of faith. Then maybe they’ll be the ones wanting more of the God who lights our lives.
Really wanting more.
Here’s wishing your family and ours may grow in light through the Family Rosary, this Advent and always.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Copyright 2017 Erin McCole Cupp