And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful

(~Colossians 3:15) (emphasis mine)

There’s this delightful little pause in between Christmas and New Year – space to reflect, plan, purpose what the next twelve months might bring, or what we might want to bring to them.

A lot of us are making resolutions or, in my case, lists of things we really want to stop doing.

It’s the Octave of Christmas which lasts from Christmas Day to January 1st, the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God, in the Catholic liturgical year.

It’s more than just a time for returning those gifts that don’t quite fit you, or don’t quite fit who you are.

It’s a time to pause. Or it can be. Depends on how you use the time, I guess. Which I guess is true of all of life and every day too.

But somehow it’s just a little easier to pause during this week-in-between.

A little easier to pause and reflect on the Gift that Christmas really is. A little easier to pause to reflect on what that means for us individually and collectively. To think not only about the resolutions we want to make, but why we want to make them in the first place. Easier to pause long enough not only to take stock of what is in our lives, but also what might be.

This time – Octave of Christmas – is a time to pause. Or it can be.

Depends on how you use the time.

It can be a pause that gets you thinking long about how to really bring peace into a life, and into a world.

It can be a pause that gets you remembering long about the fact that that we really all are one human family and that every single one of us – no matter where each one of us is from or what each one of us has in the bank or on our backs – is worthy of love and respect and welcome and dignity.

It can be a pause that lasts long enough to be thankful enough for all the times Grace touched our lives in the past year, and all the times that She is sure to do the same in the coming one.

It’s a time to pause, this in-between week, Octave of Christmas.

Or it can be.

It all depends on how you use the time.