Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, tho’ the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel.
Today, on the Feast of Stephen, is a good day to take a deep breath, and like Good King Wenceslas, take a look around. Here at the monastery, after yesterday’s great feast, I’ve taken a good look and have seen quiet skies, quiet corridors, quiet Sisters, quiet offices, quiet lawns… I’ve seen the shining lights of our several Christmas trees… I’ve seen the sacristy restored to its usual order after the intense and busy liturgies of these past days… I’ve seen Sr. Margaret Mary chopping veggies for tonight’s turkey soup, and Sr. Janet Marie preparing supper. I’ve seen Sr.’s Eleanor and Mary Ruth bundled against the cold on a trip over to Benedictine Manor, and Sr. Therese stepping out on a journey through the rain. I’ve seen Sr. Lynn Marie stooping to help me pick up scattered utensils when I dropped their container on the floor, and I’ve seen Sr. Regina stepping in to help me out when it was clear I needed a bit of assistance.
Today, and every day, is a good day to notice all that is around us, and to look to the example of Good King Wenceslas, who gazed not only upon the brightly shining moon and the crisp, even snow, but also upon the needs of the poor, stooping to help them in their need.
Therefore, Christian folk, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.
Postscript: Here is a link to a great rendition of this traditional carol. Here at the monastery we sing this carol each year at Lauds on the Feast of St. Stephen.