At the dawn of our Lord’s 2002-nd year, on the threshold of new hope

b_300_300_16777215_00_images_stories_Csaba_levelek_Vegyes_49442974_2060558190686455_4045832972056657920_o.jpgI visited three of our children who were spending their vacation in Vajdahunyad . I stood shocked in the doorway of the simple garage made out of concrete. After my eyes got used to the semi-darkness I closed the rough iron door behind me. Deep inside the garage on a convertible sofa-bed the grandmother, the mother and the three children were huddled  up together .The father kindly invited me in and offered me a place . I embraced Robika aged ten, Maria aged twelve and the thirteen year old Petra .

My first question was  “are you coming to Déva to spend the New Year’s Eve there ? No, we would like to stay with our parents came the answer almost unanimously .
In the small garage there is half-light , on the concrete walls like as many teardrops the condensed humidity , water were sparkling . There is no Christmas tree here , no baking , cooking , nice food here, the children are not going to watch a New Year’s Eve cabaret, they are not going to let off firecrackers . There is nothing here that would hint at the festive occasion , and yet these children still want to stay here . Here in the unheated garage , in the arms of their parents , feeling the warmth of their bodies , that is their only consolation in the cold and dark. 
I stand astonished , I admire the love instilled by God in this family . That infinite devotion by which these people embrace one another . These children if they would extricate themselves from the mother's embrace , within twenty minutes would be in a bathtub filled with warm water , and together with their companions wearing clean dresses could be getting ready for the New Year’s Eve festivity . These children have been with us for four years , they like being in Déva , and they are also loved by everybody , because they are quiet , kind , sweet children , they are not staying back because of awkwardness , they are old enough to have made a conscious decision to stay with their loved ones .
I admire this family sunk in such deep, obscure poverty . They are together ! Their mother is keeping them warm with her own body , the weary father did everything possible , but unfortunately things were beyond his best intentions, abilities , they can only do so much. The wild waves of capitalism  broke over their heads , that only choses the best ones and lifts them upon its shoulders, the rest , like rejects are swept away . It is quite clear that this couple are unable to procure the necessities for their livelihood . And yet they are together and some unfathomable joy, love fill the damp twilight .
I can sense God’s presence in the background of this New Year’s Eve devotion and love . I am walking in the damp, dark stable of Bethlehem . I bow my head like one who witnessed a miracle, and with renewed  faith, hope I journey on into the tomorrow, into the New Year . This small family’s love embracing each other is the reflection of the infinite Love of Bethlehem here in this world . And as long as this Love exists , and throws the children’s arms around the mother’s neck , till then every New Year promises new miracles , new Life . I feel that it is worthwhile living in that world , where silently such great miracles happen .
I wish you with love,that you may welcome the new Year in the arms of your loved ones ! 
Böjte Csaba ofm 
translated by dr k.e.