Journey of Light: Christmas Car Retreat

Journey of Light: Christmas Car Retreat

The Catholic Octave of Christmas is a sacred and joyous period that extends beyond the traditional celebration of Christmas Day. An octave is a liturgical period of eight days, and in the context of Christmas, it begins on December 25th and concludes on January 1st. On our travels home during this Octave, let us extended our personal celebration and embrace the profound significance of the Incarnation and the redemptive message of Christ’s birth.

The octave rejoices in the moment when the Word became flesh, fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament and inaugurating the divine plan for humanity’s salvation. The celebration of Christmas is not merely a historical remembrance but a living encounter with the mystery of God’s love made manifest in the person of Jesus Christ.  Each day is an opportunity for believers to delve deeper into the profound implications of Christ’s birth. The Christmas Octave is a time of joy, reflection, and spiritual renewal, inviting believers to embrace the profound truth that God became one of us to bring salvation and reconciliation.

Hour 1: Embracing the Light of Christ

Scripture Reading: John 1:1-5, 9-14

Catholic Reflection: Reflect on the profound mystery of the Incarnation as expressed in John’s prologue.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Read the passage slowly, contemplating the significance of Christ as the light that shines in the darkness.

Meditation Prayer: “Lord, may the light of Your presence dispel the darkness in my heart. Help me to embrace Your divine light.”

Hour 2: Rejoicing in the Gift of Love

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:7-16

Catholic Reflection: Reflect on the essence of God’s love and how it was manifested through the birth of Jesus.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Engage with the passage, focusing on the nature of divine love and its transformative power.

Meditation Prayer: “God of love, fill my heart with Your unconditional love. Help me to share this love with others as You have shared it with me.”

Hour 3: The Peace of Christ in Our Hearts

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-14

Catholic Reflection: Contemplate the angelic proclamation of peace and reflect on how Christ brings peace to the world.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Immerse yourself in the Nativity story. What aspects of the story speak to you about the peace Christ brings?

Meditation Prayer: “Prince of Peace, enter my heart and bring Your peace. Guide me in becoming an instrument of Your peace in the world.”

Hour 4: The Joy of Salvation

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:15-20

Catholic Reflection: Ponder the shepherds’ joy at the news of the Savior’s birth. Consider the joy that comes with the awareness of salvation.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Read and reflect on the shepherds’ response to the good news. How can you cultivate a similar joy in your life?

Meditation Prayer: “Lord, fill my heart with the joy of Your salvation. May this joy radiate to those around me.”

Hour 5: Simeon’s Blessing: A Light for Revelation

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:22-35

Catholic Reflection: Reflect on Simeon’s recognition of Jesus as the light for revelation to the Gentiles.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Engage with the passage, focusing on Simeon’s words. What insights do you gain about the light of Christ?

Meditation Prayer: “Sovereign Lord, be a light of revelation in my life. Guide me in sharing Your light with others.”

Hour 6: The Journey of the Magi: Following the Light

Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

Catholic Reflection: Ponder the journey of the Magi and their response to the star. Reflect on your own journey of faith.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Immerse yourself in the passage. What aspects of the Magi’s journey resonate with your own spiritual journey?

Meditation Prayer: “Lord, lead me in following the light of Your guidance. May my journey be aligned with Your divine purpose.”

Hour 7: Christ, the Light that Overcomes Darkness

Scripture Reading: John 8:12-20

Catholic Reflection: Reflect on Jesus as the light of the world, dispelling spiritual darkness.

Lectio Divina Exercise: Read and meditate on Jesus’ words. What areas of darkness in your life need the light of Christ?

Meditation Prayer: “Jesus, Light of the World, shine in the darkness of my life. Illuminate my path and guide me in Your truth.”

Hour 8: Becoming Bearers of the Light

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:14-16

Catholic Reflection: Contemplate the call to be the light of the world. How can you bear witness to the light of Christ in your daily life?

Lectio Divina Exercise: Engage with the passage, focusing on the responsibilities of being a light. What actions can you take to radiate Christ’s light?

Meditation Prayer: “Lord, empower me to be a bearer of Your light. May my life reflect Your love and draw others to You.”

NOTES: 

Tailor the experience for the passengers in the car or to pray at home. 

Read the Scripture Readings aloud and let the other passengers (not the driver!) close their eyes and picture the scene  

Instruct those in the car on the Reflection exercise, keeping a period of silent reverence.  

Move to Lectio Divina and pause.

Complete the hour with the Mediation prayer.  

Invite those in the car to reflect on the activities and encourage each passenger to journal or sit quietly with their thoughts.

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Written by
Deacon Gregory Webster