Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Life, Stories Around the World

Of Candlemas and New Beginnings

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

With Candle-mas service and celebration all over the world, the end of the Christmas season has been officially marked. Candlemas (or Candlemass) is known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple as based on the Jewish custom. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas–Epiphany season. For those who of us who haven’t removed the Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), Candlemas is the day when one can take them down.

In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring. Later during the Christian era, this date marked the presentation of Christ to the temple. It was the day of the year when all the candles, that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought and blessed; thereby marking it as the Festival Day (or ‘mass’) of the Candles. In those days, candles were important not only because there was no electric lights; but were thought to be of protection against plague and illness and famine. As the years progressed; on Candlemas, the service is led by prayers and the candles used are blessed; serving as a symbol of Christ, who referred to himself as the Light of the World.

Falling almost in the middle of Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, Candlemas is considered to be time for fresh start. Each country has their own set of customs, celebrations and service. One can decide to honour this day by the beginning of doing something new, breaking an old habit, spending quality time and care for dear ones or devoting energy, time and steps for self-improvement.
For This is a simple way to make life a little better for one and for those touching our life in one aspect or other.

Candlemas Verse 

When New Year’s Day is past and gone;
Christmas is with some people done;
But further some will it extend,
And at Twelfth Day their Christmas end.
Some people stretch it further yet,
At Candlemas they finish it.
The gentry carry it further still
And finish it just when they will;
They drink good wine and eat good cheer
And keep their Christmas all the year.

– From Colonial Williamsburg, 18th century

Advertisements
Posted in Life, Quotes, Reflections, Work

Nurture the Patience

In this instantaneous times that we are a part of, somewhere along the way we began expecting all the events and happenings to occur in a set sequence, allotting each step a limited amount of time set by us. Alas, as nature has time and again shown, the timeline that man sets can never be followed to a “T”. Instead both time and nature have taught mankind the essential art of patience.

Take for instance, the Chinese Bamboo Tree, it takes 5 years for it to reach the 80 feet height in six weeks. In the first year, despite the nurturing through water, sunlight and rich fertile soil; there is no visible sign of growth. Continuing on for three to four years; there is no evidence of the plant growing above the ground. Yet when it reaches its’ magnificent height during the fifth, the tree neither breaks nor bends as its’ strong root system which it has been growing for the past four years holds it firm and strong. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. There are many more lessons that nature and God’s creations teach us, from caterpillar to butterflies, ugly ducklings to graceful swans, the radiance of sunflower and the rise of the green shoots through the end of the winter to mark spring.

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. Robert H. Schuller

Like nature, those who set their pace with patience find great rewards and inner peace. Contrary to the popular notion, patience doesn’t imply the ability to simply endure or wait, neither it is a humiliation nor a compromise of one’s beliefs, desires or ambitions.

Patience is the ability to maintain the equanimity of the spirit in those circumstances that interfere with the inner peace or composure. Patience also epitomizes the behaviour while we are waiting. Patience is the ability to go towards the goal, strengthening perseverance especially when there are various obstacles on the way. Patience is the ability to maintain a joyful spirit in the midst of difficulties, troubles and sadness. Patience is there when victorious and overcoming the hurdles. Patience adopts the form of courage in face of trials, temptations and tempest. This is what true patience encompasses.

I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature. Paulo Coelho

People who patiently toil towards their dreams and goals, build their character while overcoming adversity and challenge, setting the strong internal foundation to handle success. Meanwhile those who with impatience use the shortcuts to get rich, famous and earn the stamp of being successful, more often discover that they are usually unable to sustain the unearned sudden wealth. For to support true success, the armour of patience, fortitude and perseverance are necessary to don the cloak of inner peace and triumph.

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. Leo Tolstoy