Today is the winter solstice.
“Okay,” you may say, “That’s nice. Why should I care?”
Well, the winter solstice isn’t simply a matter of astronomy. It’s spiritually illuminating.
Since the peak of summer, the days have been growing shorter. Night comes sooner. Some parts of the country have lost as many as six hours of daylight by now! The winter solstice, then, is a big event because it marks the beginning of longer days. Every year, it takes place right around Christmas.
This timing is significant.
John the Baptist’s birthday is on June 24. Funny how close that is to the summer solstice, when days begin to shorten. After John’s birthday, daylight shortens until Christmas comes, Christ’s birthday, and the days lengthen again. This reflects what John says about Jesus: “He must increase, while I must decrease.”
Thus, the decline and increase of light is a visual illustration of John’s metaphorical “decreasing” as he prepares the world for the coming of Christ—and of Jesus’ light entering the world after the Nativity. Jesus enters the world at the darkest time of year, just in time for the daylight to start growing in duration.
This uncanny physical and spiritual correlation shows how the calendar reflects the purpose of its Creator. The calendar is handy, too, for helping us keep track of upcoming events in our lives. Invite the saints to watch over your days with our Catholic Art Weekly Desk Calendar. Featuring gorgeous classic artwork for each week of the year, this calendar marks not only the days and weeks, but also the Church’s feasts and holy days. Available today at The Catholic Company!