At first glance, you might think…”yes”, that’s how I feel during these extremely busy days of hustle and bustle. However, that phrase, “breath of Heaven, hold me together” are actually words to a song sung by Amy Grant a few years back as part of the Nativity Story.
The song was originally written by a man to be sung by a man, yet Amy requested that she be allowed to rewrite the lyrics from a
perspective of a woman….Mary….who was awaiting the birth of a son in the most “unusual” of ways.

Here are the lyrics to Breath of Heaven:

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father (I prefer to use the title Holy One or God) you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near…


I heard this song for the first time this past week and I was
captivated by both the words and the images. We so “glamorize and glitz” the story of Christmas, of the Nativity, that we can easily forget how frightening and dark those days and nights must have been for Mary.

I liken it to the days and nights of so many women on long and cold and frightening journeys in our world today, looking for a place to lay their heads, looking to protect the loved ones they’ve borne, looking for HOPE. I cannot help but wonder “where would we find Jesus
being birthed” today?

Would we welcome the stranger who has nothing and is ready to give birth – birth to a child perhaps, birth to a dream of a better
future, birth of HOPE in the midst of darkness and
emptiness of their lives?

Would we lighten the darkness of these women by sharing hope? Would we make room in the inn? Would we make room in the inn of our hearts for those who have traveled a long
journey? Would we force them to walk the path alone,
or would we accompany them by sharing the

Only if we say YES, will we be truly ready for the Christmas miracle.
Only if we say YES, will we reflect what we say we believe.
Only if we say YES, will we share HOPE as it is meant to be shared…in times of darkness to those most in need of hope.
Only if we say YES…. does the Nativity story become our story.
Only if we say YES!

May WE be the reflection of hope, the giver of hope, the birther of hope, to those most in need of hope during this special season and every day of our lives.

Sr. Debbie Blow, OP