By Theresa McDonnell Fristrom AMMM Ireland 05.01.2022
I recently read one of Fr. Richard Rohr’s sermons on the Feast of the Epiphany. His main theme was the universal symbol of being guided by a star. My reaction was subtle yet strong; a reminder; an invitation to ponder.
For most of my life, the only Epiphany tradition I remember was putting the Wise Men into the Crib, and confusion at that being the twelfth and final day of Christmas and time to put away Christmas decorations for another year, including the Crib. At some point I began keeping the Crib with the Wise Men for a couple more weeks while I pondered on how they followed the star that led them to the stable.
Somewhere along the way I also became aware of the old Irish tradition of Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas or Little Christmas, and later still Ethiopian Christmas.
Then, Gunnar and I chose the 6th January 2001 for the Irish celebration of our Marriage. Our Wedding Cake was decorated with three candles in the tradition of Nollaig na mBan while earlier in the Church, three candles symbolised two becoming one.
Richard Rohr’s sermon brought me to reflect on the (invisible) star that guided my path to Uganda in 1994, on relationships developed there that brought me to meet Gunnar, and on our celebrations of the Epiphany.
As I ponder on all this now that Gunnar is no longer physically present in this life, I sense the inner star more visible and growing stronger as it gently guides my steps, ever forward in love.