Christmas... A time of people coming together with joy, laughter, uncomfortable situations, presents and good food. This is a time where people who you dont have the opportunity to usually spend time with are now around and you are able to do so. And for Christian's especially it is a time to spiritually reflect on the coming of Christ as a child not only into the world, but into our individual hearts and minds.
Recently, I have been reflecting a lot on what my position is.... Not in a cliche "My place in the world", but in a real and practical way how to better be effective in my role in my family and immediate community. The thing is... My role isn't very much defined when you look at the full scope of things.
My parents are divorced, and living with my Mother means that I must be obedient to her... But since there is no man around other than me it also means that I have to take the lead at times, protect, and do some of the dirty work. I am also the the older brother who is to teach and guide; however since I am subjective to a "law" my word is never final say. I am also a single Father but due to the way our court system in these times work, I have been in a battle for years where I am consistently undermined and given the run around - automatically on default labeled the "bay guy" no matter how much work or good that I do. Add to all of this, I am preparing for a marriage and am to lead my soon to be wife but if we're real about it - I have no college degree; and because of debts wouldnt even be able to go back to school no time soon if I wanted to.... Plus I work for the church, who pays little and asks a lot(Not to mention the prejudices I have suffered from and been subject to because of my unique situation----to be talked about more at a later date). My fiance has her Masters in Social work and though she also doesn't make a lot, it is definitely more than I do.... Let me continue.
I am a lay minister in the Catholic Church..... Up until Vatican II, me having leadership roles and teaching, etc. this wouldn't even be possible. I am a young adult.... Younger than the vast majority of the people I attend meetings with and work with, but have more responsibilities and have reached many more young people than the majority of those who are above me in heirarchy. Add to this I am a Youth Minister in America in the North East where young people and the Church in many ways live in two almost entirely "diffferent worlds". Not to mention I am a member of Hip Hop culture in the midst of all of this.... A culture that has in many ways been about rebellion and innovation/pushing against the status quo but I am in the church which is built on obedience.
In many ways it seems I am but a walking contradiction.... A living Oxymoron or Paradox.... And this Christmas I felt it more.
This time last year, due to the consistent Family Court battles and reluctances from my son's mother I was being denied(against court order) by my son's mother the ability to see him. I was also spending a Christmas without my family and just my girlfriend(now fiance) and it was a very broken time for me overall... This year with things being a little better, I was very joyful to see lights out in the streets, and Christmas songs played on the radio, etc. I was super excited to eat my mom's homecooked meal, and glad that the courts this year had given me some extra time with my son on Christmas.
Being the spiritual guide of my family I made sure not only the Christmas Tree was set up, but as St. Francis started years ago I made sure the small nativity scene was set up.... And I also pushed us to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve. As well as a small spiritual reflection and bible reading Christmas morning before opening gifts.
It was then in the Gospel reading that it hit me.... The angels who announced Christ appeared to the Sheppherds and not the kings or the religious leaders... It was the ones out in the field doing the work. And in many ways, my life is one of a sheppherd.
The last thing that hit me in mass (Although not in the readings or anything like that) was these words.... "We love because he first loved us." - 1 John 4:19.
Many times I fall short of the mission, and get very hurt and uncomforatble in the place God had placed me but Christmas is the remembrance of just this thought.... I can only love, give peace, teach, guide, or succeed at anything that I have because God in the incarnation was the first one to do it. So when I fall or feel uncomforable or unworthy, I know that ultimately it is the child Jesus for me to imitate.... Small, innocent, fragile, and subject to his parents..... Yet still God and King of the universe.
- The Symbol
- All is Love
The Symbol's MUSIC :
These are my thoughts . . . My Beliefs . . . My Actions . . . Everything I do. This is the documentation of my quest towards creating more unity in the community by authentic #LOVE.
This blog was started at:
and continued at:
But now, as I have matured in my understanding as "The Symbol" and no longer Brandon Feel-X Morel you can continue my journey with me here.
(click above images to get download link)