The Birgitta sisters at Vikingsborg in Connecticut want to remind us that Christmas is a spiritual holiday. This spirituality can easily get lost in all the excess and the shopping frenzy and the commerciality that meet us when we go to town. All the Christmas presents, all the decorating, all the cooking and baking in the world cannot take away from the fact that we celebrate Christmas because of the birth of Christ.
“At Vikingsborg we have a spiritual Christmas,” says Mother Eunice. “We have a tree, and we celebrate with our guests and friends and we give each other presents, but for us Christmas is the spiritual joy of the arrival of Christ. We celebrate Advent, which means waiting, it’s 25 days of waiting, spiritual waiting with special prayers, liturgy, and lots of singing in the chapel. While we wait we also make sacrifices, which can be hard for the outside world to comprehend. But making small sacrifices, like giving up something we really, really like from the material world, helps us focus on Christ. Everybody can do this, actually. You give up smoking or drinking or something like that, for the love of Christ.”
Making sacrifices, Mother Eunice explains, is a virtue, and a virtue is something you cultivate. Donating food to the shelters and sending money to victims of natural disasters, for instance, are other ways we can help make the world better, and prepare for the coming of Our Lord.
The Birgitta Sisters’ Guest House at Vikingsborg has gone through some bad times after a fire, but finally the beautiful mansion has been repaired and anyone who so wishes - no matter religious background - can come visit for a day or longer. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, the friendliness (and excellent cooking!) of the sisters, the beauty of the Long Island Sound, and true spirituality.
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