A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
from "The Journey Of The Magi," by T.S. Eliot
How does it begin? In Book I, she described certain things that we find inside ourselves: physical appetites, intellect, imagination. Now we go deeper and find we each have the same superpower: the power of self-direction. Moreover, we're commanded not to let that power go unused, like a horse that never leaves the stable, but to educate, exercise, understand, and use it, in honour of "the Creator [who] is honoured by our attempt to know...that human nature with which he has endowed us."
What does this have to do with Emmanuel, God With Us? Or T.S. Eliot?
The Magi could not remain in their own country while the Star beckoned them: they loaded those refractory camels and set out through "the ways deep and the weather sharp." Why? In honour of the Creator, who had endowed them with particular treasures, but who had also given them the will to find and worship the Incarnate Son.
It may indeed be the worst time of the year for such a journey. Isn't December everyone's busiest time? Why start this series of posts now, when there's so much to do?
Because there's so much to do.