Christmas Imagination

Christmas Imagination

The photo on the Christmas Mount Magazine cover has touched the imagination of many. One sister told me it spoke to her of the birthing of beauty, to another it spoke of the gifts of the wise ones, and still another, passion and love. All of this made me revel in the power of the imagination: to see this beautiful photo and imagine something because of it. Maybe that is what our world needs most this holiday: imagination.

Christmas is the season of imagination. Decorations and beautifully wrapped gifts, festive meals and warm candlelight, Christmas carols and worship moments, time with family and time with friends--all invite us to savor the spirit of Christmas and to imagine what it would be like if this were the norm rather than the exception.

With imagination we can look at the problems that plague us or our families, our society and our culture, our world and our universe and see them with renewed vision and fresh perspective. With imagination we can put ourselves in the shoes of the poor and the oppressed and be inspired to do what we can to meet their needs; with imagination we can put ourselves in the place of immigrants and refugees and be encouraged to reach out to them with welcome and care; with imagination we can put ourselves into the place of the women, men and children of Aleppo and be compelled to offer aid to this humanitarian crisis by giving it time, donations or a voice . . . . and the list goes on . . .

Christmas invites us to see what could be: a world visited by God in the form of a person who shares our very humanity, a world transformed by the experience of peace and joy.

This Christmas I pray that all of us will be open to the gift of imagination. May we allow it to motivate us to act now for what is possible and not be content with the way things are, locally or globally. Let us be enlivened by the happening of Christmas to respond as we are able with prayer and action, hope and love.

In the name of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie I wish you and yours a memorable Christmas. May our Christmas video stir your imagination and nurture your peace. We are ever grateful for your generous thoughtfulness, support and kindness.

Sister Anne Wambach

Sister Anne Wambach, OSB, the twenty-first prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania is a native of Philadelphia. She moved to Mount St. Benedict Monastery in 1992 to respond to a desire to experience the monastic way of life. Previously a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Sister Anne began the formal transfer process to the Erie Benedictines in 1993 and made her monastic profession in 1997.

Sister Anne has served the people of the Diocese of Erie as a teacher at St. Gregory's School in North East, Pa., from 1992-1995, and at the Neighborhood Art House in Erie, beginning as program director in 1995 and as executive director since 2005. She served on the Monastic Council from 2006-2010.