By Peggy Weber
My older sister, was a good and holy child. In fact she grew up to be a nun. However when she was little she was so inspired by the birth of Jesus she did something "memorable" one Christmas. My parents say they saw her walk up to the rows of candles near the altar. She sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and then proceeded to blow out all the candles -- all of them.
For years we laughed about her fervor. No one could remember if they relighted the candles. However, we all loved the story. As far as we know my sister is the only member of our family who blew out massive amounts of candles. But we also know that our family, inclduing my grandchildren, love lighting candles in church.
There is something so satisfying about this action. Yes, it can represent Christ as the light of the world. But on a much more human level it is a great way to send up our prayers or remember our loves ones.
Whether we have been in cathedrals in Europe or small, rustic chapels, we drop in a few dollars and bring a little more light to the world. We often text each other and say, "Hey, I thought of you." Or, we note that "I remembered Grandma."
It is great to reach for the long, wooden stick and touch the flame of another candle. Then you look around for a nice, clean candle and bring it to life. Then comes the burial of the stick into a pile of sand.
Now many churches have the electric type of candle. I like them for my little toddlers who push the button and smile when the light comes on. Then they kneel on the kneeler and offer up a prayer. We usually suggest a Hail Mary but often they come up with their own prayer. "Dear Mary, you are love. Touch my heart! amen" is one I heard recently.
So this Christmas as we celebrate with candles and stars and joy try and light a candle. The Christophers have the motto that "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."
We are hearing about dark winters and more scary days. For many we are going to have lots of dark and cold nights. But during the Christmas season we celebrate light. So light that candle!
And if you want to blow out some birthday candles for Jesus go ahead. Maybe just don't do it in church.